I, for One, Welcome Our New Robot Overlords

Most if not all of us have seen dialogue box like the one above in our online lives. Sometimes, a real person is called for, even in our heavily automated world. Especially when real money is about to be moved from one virtual hand to another.

About fifteen years ago, some Carnegie Mellon computer scientists developed a method to be employed to differentiate between a human being and a bit of software. They dubbed it, “Completely Automated Public Turing Test To Tell Computers and Humans Apart,” or CAPTCHA. There are several dozen applications commercially available that perform the test.

Some require a user to type in a randomly generated word or number sequence that the app has displayed just for them. Some require a bit less, a simple mouse click inside a box that sits next to a (sometimes) charmingly worded version of the question, “Are you a robot?”

The app interprets your slightly hesitant mouse click as an indication that you are indeed, if not human, not a robot. That version of a CAPTCHA, a reCAPTCHA, well …

Meet the robot that jammed that bit of protection:

 
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The WordPress Daily Prompt for January 28 asks us to reflect on the word, “Automatic.”

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