We are all familiar with the little test called a ‘captcha’ (an acronym that stands for Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart) that we sometimes have to pass in order to access some website. You may have noticed that these tests are getting harder, in that we often fail once or twice before passing.
The video below explains why this is happening and it is not because we are becoming less human. It says that there is a race between these tests and computers, that as computers get better at doing them, the tests have to raise the level of difficulty. It also says that there is something else that is going on in the background, and that is that our responses are used to create databases that enable computers to become better at character and image recognition. For example, many of the captchas are to identify things that we see while driving, such traffic lights, pedestrian crossings, fire hydrants, and the like. The responses are used to program self-driving cars to better identify those things.
We may arrive at a point where this system runs out steam because we are not able to design simple tests that only humans can pass.