One of the most annoying Internet experiences is having to deal with CAPTCHA and decode distorted text on a website to prove you are not a robot. But now, Google says it can tell you’re human just by asking you to check a box.
Google introduced its new “No CAPTCHA reCAPTCHA” API technology in a blog post Wednesday, and Snapchat and WordPress have already adopted it. While Google did not explain how the complicated Advanced Risk Analysis behind the new reCAPTCHA works (to prevent spambot programmers from outsmarting it), the user experience is refreshingly simple.
On a desktop, websites with the new reCAPTCHA will display a checkbox next to the phrase, “I’m not a robot.” When a user checks the box, Google’s API analyzes the user’s interaction with reCAPTCHA and can determine whether it’s a person or a bot. In cases where reCAPTCHA can’t tell if the user is a human or robot, the old CAPTCHA will still appear.
Mobile users will be asked to match pictures to prove their humanity. For example, Google might present an image of a turkey and nine other images. It would then ask the user to tap images that match the original.
Improving the user experience is not the only motivation for redesigning the CAPTCHA. Google says that today’s artificial intelligence technology can decode traditional CAPTCHA text with 99.8% accuracy.