If you’ve surfed the web, you’ve no doubt run into captcha test — those annoying “fill in all the boxes with cars” challenges presented when you want to sign up to an email list, log in somewhere, or whatever.
Websites use captchas to protect online systems and forms from automated robots that crawl sites daily for various purposes. But a new study from the University of California shows that today’s robots are actually better and faster at solving captcha challenges than humans.
The Independent reports that the study was conducted on over 100 different sites, all using some form of captcha robot protection. 1,000 people were asked to do 10 captcha tests and were then crushed by the different bots in terms of both time and accuracy. The humans had a 50-85 percent accuracy rate while the bots boasted 85-100 percent.
It is important to point out that the study has not undergone a so-called “peer review” yet and only exists in Arxiv — a platform for digital pre-publication of scientific reports.
Since defeating robots but allowing humans access to sites is the entire point of captcha systems, it will be interesting to see how robot protection develop in the future. Hopefully they’ll cause less headaches for us humans in a few years.
This article was translated from Swedish to English and originally appeared on pcforalla.se.