The other day I had to log in to a service I hadn’t used before. Since I was a new user, the website decided that it needed to check that I wasn’t a robot and so set me a Captcha (Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart). This is a challenge-response test to enable a computer to determine whether the user is a person rather than a machine.
But note also the delicious additional irony that the Captcha is described as an “automated Turing test”. The Turing test was conceived, you may recall, as a way of enabling humans to determine whether a machine could respond in such a way that one couldn’t tell whether it was a human or a robot. So we have wandered into a topsy-turvy world in which machines make us jump through hoops to prove that we are humans!
Although it’s clearly human ingenuity transforming us to unpaid “click workers” training A.I, but regardless it’s still a very interesting case.
It makes you wonder what could happen if an A.I. would learn and deploy this on its own. And although I don’t think this would happen in the very near future, we should think about unforeseen consequences (as almost all technology and legislations bring in there wake).
P.S. Personally I find the types of CAPTCHAs presented to us very interesting. It gives insight in the current focus of developments in machine learning and A.I. Will be very interesting to see what will be next after road signs and store fronts.
Computers have learned to make us jump through hoops - The Guardian