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December 4, 2014

Google introduces CAPTCHA replacement

Wordpress and Snapchat users will now verify that they are human through an automated system.

By Jimmy Nicholls

Google has moved to replace its CAPTCHAs with an automated method of verifying a site visitor is human.

Users will no longer have to decipher scrambled text, but instead input a name, email address and favourite colour before confirming that they are not a bot through a single click.

Vinay Shet, product manager of reCAPTCHA at Google, said: "CAPTCHAs have long relied on the inability of robots to solve distorted text."

"However, our research recently showed that today’s Artificial Intelligence technology can solve even the most difficult variant of distorted text at 99.8% accuracy. Thus distorted text, on its own, is no longer a dependable test. "

The system works through analysing a user’s behaviour to determine whether they are likely to be man or machine, based on how they navigate through the website.

CAPTCHAs will still be used if test results are ambiguous, although these will take forms that Google considers more intuitive for humans, such as matching pictures of animals.

"Early adopters, like Snapchat, WordPress, Humble Bundle, and several others are already seeing great results with this new API," Shet added.

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"For example, in the last week, more than 60% of WordPress’ traffic and more than 80% of Humble Bundle’s traffic on reCAPTCHA encountered the No CAPTCHA experience — users got to these sites faster."

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