This Is The Terrifying Reason Why Captcha Puzzles Are Getting Harder

If I have to tell one more robot that *I* am not a robot, I might scream.
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Have you noticed that Captcha tests are getting harder? I feel like I’ve gone from trying to identify how many squares in a grid contain traffic lights (which I did already find tricky because what if it’s just a small corner?!?!) to going through an entire song and dance just to visit a website.

Captcha stands for ‘Completely Automated Public Turing Test to Tell Computers and Humans Apart’ and was created to prevent bots from accessing networks and private data.

They are important and an essential part of cybersecurity but they have definitely gotten harder for many of us.

Why captcha tests have gotten harder

Fortunately, this isn’t something that we’re just making up. Captcha tests really are getting harder and a study by researchers at the University of California Irvine has discovered why — and it’s pretty scary.

Do you remember when a lot of websites used distorted words and numbers as Captcha tests?

Well, they’ve been slowly discontinued because, uh, AI bots can now read them.

Cool, cool. cool.

The study author said: “Advances in computer vision and machine learning have dramatically increased the ability of bots to recognise distorted texts and by 2019, automated tools achieved over 99% accuracy

“Alternatively, bots often outsource solving to Captcha farms – sweatshop-like operations where humans are paid to solve Captchas. In light of this, Captchas have changed and evolved significantly over the years.”

Unfortunately, the bad news doesn’t end there.

Kevin Gosschalk, the founder and CEO of Arkose Labs, a web security firm that designs Captchas said to The Wall Street Journal: “Things are going to get even stranger, to be honest, because now you have to do something nonsensical. Otherwise, large multimodal models will be able to understand”

So... they’re already getting difficult and they’re only going to get harder. Isn’t that fun!