There is nothing more frustrating for the human internet users than to have to type in really difficult-to-understand characters to submit comments, register on websites and do other stuff. That is known as CAPTCHA. And Google has finally done something about it.
Google today introduced what it calls “No CAPTCHA reCAPTCHA”. It essentially lets you pass the CAPTCHA test without having to type in anything. After you type in your comment, or in the case of a registration form, your name and other information, all you need to do to pass the CAPTCHA is tell Google that you’re not a robot. And you do that just by making a single click.
The process, at least on the user end, is exactly the same as what a WordPress plugin called Growmap Anti Spambot does. When you install that on your WordPress site, it generates a checkbox that is required by the comment author to check in order to submit their comment. In a world where spambots are getting increasingly smarter and spam filters can be fooled, that little checkbox by Growmap Anti Spambot plugin worked like a charm. But that plugin is for WordPress only.
Google’s reCAPTCHA has been around for a while and a lot of websites and applications rely on it to filter out spams and bots. It’s significantly easier to read the characters provided by reCAPTCHA to type in compared to some of the other CAPTCHA systems available out there. However, users still needed to type in. And that’s what Google has finally killed off.
Google on its blog post says that it developed Advanced Risk Analysis backend for reCAPTCHA that “actively considers a user’s entire engagement with the CAPTCHA—before, during, and after—to determine whether that user is a human.”
However, there may be some cases where Google’s newly developed risk analysis engine can’t quite predict whether the user is a human or a robot. In cases like this, as a failsafe, reCAPTCHA will show up a small CAPTCHA making sure that the user is, indeed, a user.
While this means that CAPTCHAs aren’t going away just yet, it’s a major step forward towards a CAPTCHA-free internet. If you’re on a mobile, you may get away without CAPTCHA by selecting a few images that are similar to the cue image that you’ve been given. Google hopes that this classic Computer Vision problem of image labeling will give you a better user experience from your small device by eliminating the need to type in CAPTCHAs that are difficult to read.
Google wrote that a number of sites including WordPress, Snapchat, and Humble Bundle has already implemented No CAPTCHA reCAPTCHA and they are seeing great success. The company stated that in the last week, more than 60% of WordPress’ traffic and more than 80% of Humble Bundle’s traffic on reCAPTCHA encountered the No CAPTCHA experience. As more and more users use the No CAPTCHA reCAPTCHA, Google’s underlying technology, the risk analysis engine, gets smarter. Which means, someday, reCAPTCHA might no longer pop out a CAPTCHA at all. Given reCAPTCHA’s already widespread adoption, it’s easy to predict that day will come.
If you’re a publisher — whether already using reCAPTCHA or a new user in need of a spam detection service for free, you may want to give Google’s reCAPTCHA a try.
When was the last time you had to type in a CAPTCHA?