If you are surfing the internet, social networks, comments in online newspapers or you like to download something else, you have surely encountered a series of characters, numbers and symbols to move forward, have you ever wondered, what is And what is it for?
This form has the name of captcha, and is basically a system that allows in theory, although it is not infallible, to determine who is on the website or computer system is definitely a human being and not a computer program, algorithm or robot that wants Exploit a fault. This is very technical and it is not clear to you, right? We explain it in a less technical way.
Every computer system has a fault, what is it? What is programmed and oriented to humans, humans are specialists in returning something that was created to be useful in garbage in less than a cock sings. For example, when the first web pages appeared, someone came up with the idea that people could leave a comment, this was growing and the volume of comments was more than that of the website itself. Someone at the beginning of the 2000 said: in the future the internet pages will have more user content than the creator himself.
Everything was going well, until … to start saturating websites with comments of any kind, infecting them with viruses, getting people to places that did not interest them, all because the comments were accessible to whatever reason , or comments were opened or closed.
The same thing happened with the downloads. Before Youtube, mp3s and applications, computer tools were downloaded directly from a server that was usually the PC where a particular website was hosted. If a person with enough computer knowledge could make it continuously download material from that server, soon after the server became saturated and the web was disabled.
So endless problems. The root of the problem is that a website is not able to determine if the person who is visiting is a real user, a human being, a computer application or a robot, then the solution was as follows.
Placing an image, yes an image or a photo where there is text, then only a human being is able to interpret what is in that photo. A computer program can not know what is in the photo because it does not reason.
At first it was all pink, the avalanches of spam, unwanted mail and comments that saturated the web pages were finished. But, systems to validate captcha have become so sophisticated that captcha are becoming more elaborate and leave a lot of people without the ability to determine what they are seeing if letters, numbers, symbols or an image. In addition people with different abilities are also being left out of this system especially those who are visually impaired. It has tried to create a system through the audio, but it does not work quite well, since it is a software that interprets the characters and we assume that they are not characters is a photo or image of characters, so the software it does not work.
Who invented the captcha?
He is credited with the invention of Luis von Ahn, born in Guatemala City in 1979 and a student at the American universities of Carnegie Mellon University and the Duke University.
Luis began his work in computer cryptography in 2000 and by 2006 he was already operating the Captcha system, which earned him the MacArthur Fellows also known as the Genius Award and the distinction of the then President of the United States, Barack Obama in the year 2012.
In addition to that he was named by Discover magazine as one of the 10 most brilliant scientists of the year 2006 and the magazine Silicon.com named him one of the 50 most influential people in information technology.