We all work for Google! Or why do you need captcha?

CAPTCHA has become an integral part of our lives. If you have not encountered it, you are either lucky or you simply do not exist. Small pictures on which it is necessary to mark cars, bicycles, traffic lights and so on, are always and everywhere. This is especially often committed by Google. Do you think they are needed in order to understand whether you are a robot? Partly yes, but they also have another secret purpose. We put on a foil hat and read on.

Perhaps the above looks a little strange andfar-fetched, but we have specific facts that make it clear in which place the Corporation of Good uses us and converts our free time into our own benefit. Personally, this is not pleasant to me, and I would not want the events to continue to develop like that, but for now everything is just like that, and soon it could get worse. Okay, let's first things first ...


  • 1 What is captcha
  • 2 How does captcha work
  • 3 What is AI
  • 4 How Google is trying to use us

What is captcha

For a better understanding of everything that will be said below, we will first consider the definition of what we are used to call a word like “captcha”.

The word is not Russian and in the original isshort for a few English words. It is written as CAPTCHA, and the decoding sounds like “Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart” (a fully automated Turing public test to distinguish between computers and people).

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Turing test is an empirical test, an ideawhich was proposed by Alan Turing in the article "Computers and Mind", published in 1950 in the philosophical journal Mind. His goal was to determine the ability of the machine to mislead a person, making him think that he is communicating with another person.

It is this principle that underlies the algorithm,which determines who is trying to send a request for information from the server. As a rule, there are three main types of captcha. These are poorly written numbers or letters that the computer cannot determine, mathematical operations that the computer can easily perform, but does not understand that they must be performed and the definition of objects, so beloved by Google.

How does captcha work

We will focus on the third option withpictures. In order to access information, you need to find certain objects in the pictures. For example, bicycles, traffic lights, shop windows and so on.

The usual procedure, you say, and partly willare right. But have you ever wondered why, with a partially incorrect answer, you are still allowed to access the necessary information? It turns out, it doesn’t matter to anyone, will we answer correctly? This can be explained by the fact that a certain error is included in the algorithm, which is acceptable when passing this test. Suppose this is true, but why is simple search engine search often protected in this way? What is so terrible to happen if a conditional robot finds out how many stars are from the constellation Orion? Protection against DDoS attacks? Perhaps, but there is a simpler explanation.

What is AI

Google, like other industry giants,working on creating its own version of artificial intelligence, or, as it is now increasingly called, AI. I am a little skeptical about this phrase, but let us leave this discussion for another article.

In the modern understanding of the term AI, it represents the ability of a computer to imitate human activities, including through machine learning to learn to identify objects.

As a rule, for the operation of such systems they needfirst teach with examples. That is, a person shows the bus to the system and says that it is a bus, then shows a bonfire and says that it is a bonfire. This continues for some time, after which the system itself tries to determine where what is, and the person says whether she is right or not.

It’s possible that Google’s captcha systemaimed at just that. Given the billions of requests that users all over the world send to the server, the training can be very good and complete. Even if you offer captcha to every tenth user, you will still receive a huge amount of data that the company can use to train its systems. In this case, fully automatic.

The many options for captcha that we encounter every day

How Google is trying to use us

Of course, this is not officially confirmed, but judging by all the facts, the company uses us. Confirmation is that the captcha appears so often and for some reason sometimes misses errors.

If this is true, just imaginehow much money the company saves on the army of specialists who need to train an image recognition system. The same thing applies to those cases when you are invited to read the blurry text on the facades of houses. In this situation, the system can learn to determine the house numbers when scanning streets for various mapping services.

Captcha with house numbers

For example, the picture above shows a fewexamples of captcha with house numbers. On the one hand, this is simply not a very contrasting image, which most likely the robot will not be able to recognize. On the other hand, why house numbers? House numbers are real gold for maps from Google. The creators of the service will not need to arrange their homes separately. The system will be able to understand where is what number and put it on the card in automatic mode. And then we will also check the result, when we do not find the right house and send the changes for consideration, having received, as a reward, the ephemeral status of a member of the Google team. After all, house numbers are not drawn, but actually photographed, and most likely by Google cars, which roam around the roads, taking streets for "panoramas".

In the future, this will help the work of autonomouscars. To confirm this, it is worth recalling pictures of captcha with traffic lights, pedestrian crossings and intersections. It is such images in not the best quality that the autopilot cameras will give out and the system will need to recognize them. While there are no stand-alone machines in the broad sense, but the data for them is already accumulating.

Captcha with the search for road infrastructure elements

Additional evidence that thisit’s Google who is trying to pump up its services with information. These are Chinese identification systems, which boil down to a simple operation, such as setting a checkmark in the right place or swipe across the screen. Google does not work for them and they do not have to deal with such data collection.

An example of Chinese captcha

Another example of Chinese captcha

In addition to pictures, Google offers to recognizevoice text. Do you understand what I mean? Google has its own assistant, who needs to communicate with someone to learn and not only listen to requests, but also understand how well a person understands what he was told. For this, a voice captcha system is used.

If it really is that, googlemakes us work for ourselves? It turns out so! Just imagine how each of us contributes to the great business of learning AI from Google, and at the same time, for free. Personally, I'm a little annoyed after every Google request to unravel the pictures, but I noticed that this is moving from one user to another. At one time, no one understood me when I said that almost every search query from a smartphone is accompanied by captcha for me. Then I let go a little, but now I hear it from my friends and subscribers in our Telegram chat.

It turns out that the captcha epidemic wanders from user to user. In my opinion, this once again confirms the theory given above.

What do you think, can this really be? Write in the comments and take part in the survey below.

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