Could Google’s AI signal the end of CAPTCHA?

We’re all familiar with the hot tears of frustration when trying to decode a CAPTCHA box. The pressure of trying to decipher whether that character is a capital ‘i’ or a lowercase ‘L’. Minutes of mulling over your decision, and a rage-inducing page refresh when you’ve botched a character. I’m in my early twenties, and my blood pressure’s taken quite the hit from this rigmarole.

Could Google’s AI signal the end of CAPTCHA?

Thank god for Google, and its eminently innovative ways. The search engine giant has developed security AI so intelligent that it no longer needs to ask if you’re a robot, it can just tell. Back in 2014, Google saw CAPTCHA, and raised the internet ‘reCAPTCHA’, a tool which got rid of infuriating puzzles and replaced them with a simple checkbox.

Simple enough. The technology could distinguish humans from robots, the latter of whom would click directly in the center of the checkbox, a surefire telltale sign of regimented artificial life. Robots would be denied access, and humans, in all of their sloppy, imperfect glory, would waltz on through to the desired site.

And now reCAPTCHA is out, and Google’s new AI “advanced risk analysis engine” is being ushered in – a tool so advanced that it doesn’t even require a checkbox. ‘Invisible reCAPTCHA’ is integrated to a pre-existing button on the site, so the AI can decipher whether you’re a human or robot with you even knowing. What’s more, only the “most suspicious traffic” will be diverted to a puzzle page. Which saves the bulk of us an inordinate amount of aggravation.

Thank god. We weren’t far off from a blood pressure pandemic; a generation lost to the intolerable and inexhaustible pitfalls of CAPTCHA. The time to, ahem, recapture your unhindered browsing freedom is now.

Image: GiullermoJM used under Creative Commons

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