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Google Says Bye Bye, Captchas, Well, Mostly

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A typical CAPTCHA.

Google says it will phase out its CAPTCHAs in favor of asking users to answer the question "Are you a robot?" with a single click.

Credit: Creative Commons 2.0

Many websites require users to prove they are not a robot or a spammer by typing a Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart (CAPTCHA), typically comprising letters and numbers. However, Google recently announced it has starting phasing out its CAPTCHAs in favor of using its reCAPTCHA service. The service requires users to only answer the question "Are you a robot?" with a single click.

"For years, we've prompted users to confirm they aren't robots by asking them to read distorted text and type it into a box," says Google's Vinay Shet. "But, we figured it would be easier to just directly ask our users whether or not they are robots. So, we did!"

Google has started rolling out a new application programming interface (API) for the technology, which pairs with Google's ability to analyze a user's action before, during, and after clicking on the reCAPTCHA box to determine if the user is human or not. "The new API is the next step in this steady evolution," Shet says. "Now humans can just check the box and in most cases, they're through the challenge."

However, if the reCAPTCHA service is not fully sure a user is a person, a spammer, or a bot, a CAPTCHA will appear and ask for more information.

From Computerworld
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