Google Doesn’t Need Those Annoying CAPTCHA Text Puzzles to Tell If You’re a Robot Anymore

We didn't always trust robots enough to just ask, but we're growing as people.
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Filthy humans, the Google hivemind can now tell you apart from robotkind simply by your mouse movement. Now you can’t even hide from us in cybersp—oh, sorry. I meant, “Hey, fellow humans! Google is kind of getting rid of those annoying CAPTCHA security things with new technology to tell you’re human just from a click! Yay!”

Instead of sometimes frustrating blurry text boxes for security prompts that are difficult for spambots to read, Google’s new system mostly works by watching how users interact with this simple checkbox:


Using mouse movement leading up to clicking the “I’m not a robot” button and other indicators like IP addresses and cookies, the new reCAPTCHA system can usually identify with a single click whether a user is human. If reCAPTCHA thinks you move your mouse like a robot—or probably if it finds out your Google history is mostly just “EXTERMINATE [noun]”—then it double checks with the standard CAPTCHA prompts, but most people should pass the initial test with ease.

This comes on top of assessment systems Google’s standard reCAPTCHAs already had in place that allowed them to use clues about user habits to determine their legitimacy and serve them easier CAPTCHAs if they were unlikely to be bot bots. It’s definitely a big improvement over trying to figure out a random string of letters and numbers and whether or not they want you to capitalize and use spaces.

It’s also probably a better solution than yelling, “The next statement is true! The previous statement was false!” and waiting for the robots’ brains to explode.

(via Wired, image via Google/our edits)

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Dan Van Winkle
Dan Van Winkle (he) is an editor and manager who has been working in digital media since 2013, first at now-defunct Geekosystem (RIP), and then at The Mary Sue starting in 2014, specializing in gaming, science, and technology. Outside of his professional experience, he has been active in video game modding and development as a hobby for many years. He lives in North Carolina with Lisa Brown (his wife) and Liz Lemon (their dog), both of whom are the best, and you will regret challenging him at Smash Bros.