CAPTCHA has successfully warded off spam on all sorts of online sites and forums for quite some time. The verification method has been relevant for a surprisingly long time but a new algorithm may finally render it useless.
Vicarious is an Artificial Intelligence startup which seeks to create intelligent algorithms which can empower software to act as human, in terms of the backend thinking, as possible. The company claimed back in October last year that it has finally developed an algorithm that can not only solve the popular CAPTCHAs, but also the reCAPTCHA introduced by Google.
In other words, there is a method for bots to crack the CAPTCHA security and spam any given site. Of course Vicarious has created the algorithm for its own research and it is not like hackers and spammers will have access to it. But the fact that the company was able to reach such an algorithm last year hints that it’s only a matter of time before others are able to accomplish as much.
In its announcement, Vicarious claimed that it was able to crack a CAPTCHA 90% of the time using the algorithm. This means that we may soon see the internet migrating to other forms of authentication and verification.
Now that CAPTCHA is nearing its inevitable demise, it is high time to give some serious thought to other successful alternatives. Among these is the puzzle-like games which require you to slide a bar to turn a warped image into a normal image, certain forms of mathematical calculations or even the task of creating simple shapes.
Other possibilities include using camera to determine that the user is a human, putting a time-limit to see if a form is being filled too fast (which hints that a bot is filling it) and creating different obstacles such as bots-only algorithms as an additional security layer.
However, now it remains to be seen which of these alternatives eventually turns out to be as wildly popular and widely adopted as CAPTCHA is right now.