Archive for March 10th, 2012

I’ve got the feeling… I’m losing!

Saturday, March 10th, 2012 by Roberto Saracco

As manager of this blog I am getting more and more concerned by spam, computer programs posting comments to advertise products based on some words captured in the post. I am getting more and more of them and this tells me that the CAPTCHA code being used is getting more and more easy to solve by computer.

We are getting some 20 spams a day, from about 6-10 different sources, thus indicating that there are several computers that can decode CAPTCHA.

This is an opportunity for new companies to develop smarter CAPTCHA, like NuCaptcha.

The company has invented a CAPTCHA consisting of moving letters and is telling you which ones have to be use as a code, in the case of the picture on the left you are supposed to type the red letters (KSR) as they move along the screen.

However, researchers from Stanford have just announced that borrowing from the understanding of human vision they have developed a program that is able to capture the floating letters with an accuracy of over 90%, thus invalidating the NuCaptcha solution.

I have to say that more than once I have had problem in understanding the scrambled letters myself and knowing that a computer can do better than me in spotting the right combination makes me feel a loser.

Are we really getting close to Kurzweil singularity, estimated at 2025, when computers will be able to best humans in most areas and look more intelligent than us?