Google Identifies Robots Through Behavior

Trying to decrypt distorted text to prove we're not robots has never been easy, so Google developed a new API that simplifies the reCAPTCHA experience. The company calls the checkbox, announced Wednesday, No CAPTCHA reCAPTCHAS.

Don't let the modest checkbox fool you, says Vinay Shet, Google product manager for reCAPTCHA. Advances in artificial intelligence prompted the move. "CAPTCHAs have long relied on the inability of robots to solve distorted text," he wrote in a blog post. Our research recently showed that today’s artificial intelligence technology can solve even the most difficult variant of distorted text at 99.8% accuracy. Distorted text, on its own, is no longer a dependable test."

Google's new approach aims to make it easier for humans to click through on desktops and only requires one tap on a mobile device. The new technology analyzes user behavior before, during, and after coming in contact with the Captcha. In cases where Google might suspects a machine, it can serve a more traditional Captcha.

Mobile users will see a small image at the top of a screen before being prompted to select an image from a list on the screen that most resembles the other. A click in the box "I'm not a robot" slides the user through.

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