People are Only Now Discovering How the “I Am Not A Robot” Captcha Test Works

People are Only Now Discovering How the “I Am Not A Robot” Captcha Test Works

You’ve probably taken and passed a classic “Are you a robot” Captcha test if you’ve been on the Internet and aren’t a robot.

CAPTCHAs, or “Completely Automated Public Turing Test to Tell Computers and Humans Apart,” are tasks that users must complete to distinguish themselves from bots. They range from annoying (“Please select the parts of this image that contain hillocks”) to not-so-annoying (click here to ensure you are not a robot). But how do these latter tests function? Is it true that bots are so inept that they can’t press the button?

In a nutshell, no. According to Unilad, a resurfaced film from the British TV panel show QI indicates that the test is actually looking at your conduct before you hit the button. Bots that can press the button have been developed, but they have a more difficult job simulating typical human behavior beforehand.

According to Cloudflare, the test records the movement of the user’s cursor as it moves toward the box.

People are Only Now Discovering How the “I Am Not A Robot” Captcha Test Works

“Even the most direct human motion contains some randomness on the microscopic level: tiny unconscious movements that bots cannot easily mimic.” “If the cursor’s movement exhibits some of this unpredictability, the test concludes that the user is most likely legitimate,” Cloudflare writes on its website. “The reCAPTCHA may also evaluate the cookies stored by the browser on a user device as well as the device’s history to determine whether the user is likely to be a bot.”

Cookies and recent history can tell the machine if you’re human or Johnny 5.

“Let us say, for example, that before you tick the box, you watched a couple of cat videos, liked a tweet about Greta Thunberg, and checked your Gmail account before you got down to work – all of that makes them think you must be a human,” QI host Sandi Toksvig stated in the video.

“Essentially, by clicking ‘I am not a robot,’ you are instructing the site to examine your data and make its own decision.”

Usually, the test is enough to convince the program that you are human, but it may occasionally offer you alternative captchas to complete, such as if your mouse wiggle is too exact or your browser history is that of a robot.