Puzzles to Replace the Dreaded CAPTCHA form


Did you know that CAPTCHA actually stands for something? CAPTCHA stands for Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart. Even when you say the word out loud, it sounds like ‘capture’ – something like gotcha – we know you’re not a human but you’re a robot that’s repeatedly trying to login and gain access to restricted information.

CAPTCHA works by distorting a simple word. The letters are often twisted and there might be a color gradient in the background. The twisting and the color is there for a reason. The foremost reason is to confuse bots that go around the internet, looking to repeatedly go at different password-protected areas.

CAPTCHA is not a welcome thing. First of all, CAPTCHA is a nuisance. Sometimes the letters are so twisted and out of shape that it’s hard to determine if its ‘n’ or an ‘m’. Often times, the words themselves are meaningless and we’re left typing out random text strings. CAPTCHA is not a user-friendly option for anyone who is visually-impaired or colorblind.

In response to the criticism, Google is now testing out a new system. While the new mechanism doesn’t exactly have a name, it can be labelled as a puzzle. You might have come across it. Google may provide you with a set of pictures and ask you to select the ones that have a picture of a dog on them.

In fact, Google is killing two birds with one stop. Google is now moving in the direction of deep-neural networks, enabling computers to learn. Whenever a computer is stumped, you might be asked to solve the problem for them. Examples are when the computer can’t decipher a home address. When that happens, you might get a puzzle and Google will ask you to enter the home number as you see it. These are great instances of the community getting together and providing Google’s machine learning environment with the tools to succeed.

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