Captchas have somewhat become a part of our lives. For almost every website we access, we have to go through the same process of entering a captcha before accessing the desired result. But why? To prove our humanity.
Well, as absurd it may seem, we all know that we have to enter the jumbled alphabets and numbers on every other website to prove that in fact, we are humans who are using our laptops to access our bank accounts.
However, have you ever thought about why we have to take this pain of entering weird combinations again and again? Well, it seems that we are not just humans, we are human machines.
It has come to notice that every time we fill the captcha combinations, we make AI smarter.
Where Have CAPTCHAs Originated From?
reCAPTCHA is a collaboration of numbers that was started by the computer scientists of the Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh in 2007. Later, Google also started using captcha in 2009 with an effort to digitize books.
Digitizing books manually, by one person, can be extremely taxing and boring. So, Google thought of a better idea. Google thought that if millions of people come together to digitize books and contribute a little by typing down the captcha codes, then the transition to digital books would become easier and smoother.
Also, Recaptcha verifies itself. It shows the same combination of alphabets to several users and compares the multiple attempts to ensure that the right result has been reached.
Thanks to the technology, Recaptcha has been successful in digitizing the entire Google Books archive and 13 million articles from the New York Times back-catalog dating back to 1851.
Isn’t it amazing!
However, once the process of digitizing books was complete, Google used the Recaptcha technology for growing artificial intelligence and machine learning.
AI And Captcha
From 2012, Google started including snippets from photos from Google Street View to the captcha verification. The users were required to type down the door numbers and other signages and from thereon, captcha became all about AI development.
By selecting a bunch of similar photographs, say that of a streetlight or a cat, we help the AI. We give the machine a set of already selected photographs and the more pictures we feed it, the more accurate the AI becomes. AI becomes intelligent enough to segregate the images of, let’s say streetlights, from a plethora of images with each captcha we fill.
It helps Google in multiple ways. Firstly, it helps ace the performance of Google Images in providing more accurate search results. Secondly, it helps in providing more accurate Google Map results. Apart from this, there are other reasons as well with which Google advantages from captcha.
Google has been using our human instincts to build its database. After all, having millions of internet users at your disposal helps.
So, the next time you come across more complex captchas, make sure to remember that you are making the AI stronger than ever with every click of your finger.
Image Source: Google Images
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This post is tagged under: google, google books, captcha, recaptcha, CAPTCHA, Google Archive, digitization, digital books, artificial intelligence, machine, machine learning, development, technology, I am not a robot, digitization, modern technology