Google reCAPTCHA Eschews Text Puzzles for an Image Matching System

The familiar annoyance of two word text ‘puzzles’ to prove that you’re human – staple of the internet for over a decade – is no more. Google has replaced its supposed bot-deterrent text-based reCAPTCHA with an image match system to confirm a user’s authenticity.

The old two-word system – which served a secondary purpose of helping Google’s OCR software to decipher words it struggled with when digitising books – was meant to be bot-proof, but advances in digital character recognition made the process redundant.

“CAPTCHAs have long relied on the inability of robots to solve distorted text,” Vinay Shet, product manager of reCAPTCHA at Google, explained. “However, our research recently showed that today’s artificial intelligence technology can solve even the most difficult variant of distorted text at 99.8 per cent accuracy. Thus distorted text, on its own, is no longer a dependable test.”

Instead, users will be asked to match similar images of animals (mostly cats. The internet loves cats). The old word recognition system will still be used as a back-up test.

Source: The Register