I am not a robot! So why won’t the captchas believe me?

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Meriem Guerar, researcher at the University of Genoa, Italy, provided a simpler explanation for the poor quality of the images. “The challenge presents images that are often noisy and blurry in order to make it more difficult to recognize, for robots using advanced image recognition technologies,” says Guerar, who co-wrote articles with Migliardi on captcha. “The noise, the distraction of images, making them blurry, these are anti-recognition mechanisms.”

Sometimes the captchas are completely wrong. Charles Bergquist said he felt a mixture of fun and frustration when asked to choose parking meters, that he was turned down when he chose the meter shown and he could not solve the heist. head only by selecting the counter and two mailboxes. “It was frustrating not being able to get to the page I wanted without returning incorrect information,” says Bergquist, director of the Scientific Friday radio program.

Goofs like this are frequently discussed on social media or / r / captcha Reddit Group who finds comedy in bad captchas. Another Reddit Group, / r / CaptchaArt, with nearly 20,000 members, incorporates captchas into cartoons and other works of art.

Since captchas aren’t going away anytime soon, here are some tips to reduce the level of frustration with the captcha resolution process.

Remember that captchas offer protection

It may be uncomfortable if you’re stuck in a puzzle trap, but captchas are designed to protect the websites you visit – and ultimately you.

“Alan Turing’s captcha concept is, in itself, a genius; but as the capabilities of robots become more sophisticated, captcha systems become more and more complex, leading to highly invasive user experiences, ”says Matt Bliss, CTO of Bliss Digital in Hampshire, UK. After having to solve four captchas in a row, a frustrated Bliss redoubled the challenges as “a complicated and awkward test of patience to distinguish between crosswalks and fire hydrants.”

As an architect and developer, Bliss understands the purpose of captchas, and he notes that the free tools to use them are easy to implement by web designers and developers. “Unfortunately, this can lead to their implementation as a low-cost solution in situations where less invasive and more user-friendly approaches would be more appropriate, but would inevitably cost more to design and adopt,” he said.

Understand that captchas keep getting better

It might not feel like it, but captcha designers are trying to ease your pain. Google said it is continually working with its customers to find the best balance between user friction and bot stopping. Google’s reCaptcha product started out as words that bots had a hard time dissecting, and then evolved into click zones and crosswalks to defend against fraud, not just bots. The third version of reCaptcha does not have user interaction, relying instead on behavioral analysis, so there is a frictionless user experience, according to Google.

the fourth and last version is reCaptcha Enterprise, which Google says offers unique capabilities designed specifically for the business and provides enhanced detection metrics, such as extra-granular scores, reason codes for high-risk scores, and the ability to scale. the risk analysis engine to the specific needs of the site. .

Recent advances in AI have made automated programs outperform humans for recognition tasks, Guerar said. She and her team created an alternative called cappcha (the second P stands for “physical”) based on the ability of humans to perform physical tasks instead of solving difficult cognitive problems. Actions include tilting a smartphone or performing micro-movements while typing on a laptop. “The whole point of cappcha is that bots, which are pieces of code, cannot perform physical tasks,” Guerar explains. “There are actions that only a human can do.”

Update your browser

An outdated browser can trigger a verification challenge, according to Guerar and Migliardi. Keeping up to date with updates is another sign of humanity, professors said. “A bot probably won’t be careful when updating software,” Migliardi said.

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