In Brief
  • Google's new update to its CAPTCHA system doesn't require conscious human input to recognize if the user of a website is, in fact, a person.
  • This upgrade indicates that the security software has reached a new level of sophistication, one that follows the trend of rapid advancement in machine learning and AI.

Good news if you’re not an internet bot. Google’s CAPTCHA (Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart) is now invisible. This signals that the artificial intelligence (AI) behind the security software has reached a new level of sophistication.

*2* Google Artificially Intelligent Security Software is Now a Covert Operative

For those of us who aren’t sure what a CAPTCHA is, it’s that section on a website that forces you to stop what you’re doing to prove you’re not a robot. You usually have to type in a string of strange words or solve a simple puzzle. Now, thanks to machine learning, the system no longer requires conscious human input to recognize if you are, in fact, a person.

The development is fuel by what Google is calling an “advanced risk analysis engine.” This advancement means most of us will never know if we are being checked since only the “most suspicious traffic” will be tested.

The ability of AI to learn is allowing for significant boosts in its resourcefulness. AI systems have taught themselves to compose music, identify suicidal behavior, and now, in a clear step toward the Singularity, code themselves.

Once machines are capable of true learning, how long will it be until the Turing test and CAPTCHA become silly puzzles AI parents play with their children?