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This CAPTCHA Makes Sure You’re A Robot. Yes, You Read That Right

It’s internet security, but for a world run by AI rather than people.

This CAPTCHA Makes Sure You’re A Robot. Yes, You Read That Right
[Image: Humans Not Invited (screenshot), Markus Spiske/Unsplash (pattern)]

“Click the three photos that have pizza in them.”

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This is the sort of degrading task that security checkpoints across the web place upon us today, urging us, “prove you’re human by doing something a computer can’t do!”

But truth be told, computers are getting pretty good at just about everything humans do. And for this reality, there’s a new type of CAPTCHA on the prowl: A test that only lets the robots in, and keeps fleshy humans out. The CAPTCHA is a parody project called Humans Not Invited, developed by Do Something Good and featured on Prosthetic Knowledge. But as far as Reddit’s computer scientists can tell, this parody is still a perfectly legitimate working system.

[Image: Humans Not Invited (screenshot), Markus Spiske/Unsplash (pattern)]
When you load Humans Not Invited, the CAPTCHA tasks you with something like spotting flowers or park benches. But instead of the normally photographed scenes you expect, these photos are blurred beyond recognition. That’s right, it’s expecting you have some sort of advanced computer vision that can rewind a distortion algorithm to see the objects inside.

Obviously, to human eyes, these images look like foggy windows–they’re beyond our comprehension without help from an algorithm. It’s also unclear if anyone has built a bot that can pass the test yet–but’s a superb joke all the same, the perfect parody of a future where AI takes human jobs and leaves us with nothing important left to do.

[Image: Humans Not Invited (screenshot), Markus Spiske/Unsplash (pattern)]
I tried to make a lucky guess to get inside–I had to spot all of the modems amidst the grid of blurs–but I was quickly classified as a human and shunted to the empty, digital hamster cage that is a blank URL reading “You’re a human. You’re not invited.”

Someone else was luckier, though, and you can see the message they got here. That is if you aren’t concerned about upsetting the robots for snooping on their party.

About the author

Mark Wilson is a senior writer at Fast Company. He started Philanthroper.com, a simple way to give back every day.

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