If you’ve logged into a secure website before, there’s no doubt that you’ve encountered CAPTCHA. It’s the security feature that distorts words and numbers in an effort to thwart non-human users from accessing that site. Consider it a ‘prove you’re human’ test, and it just might be a lot less secure. Enter software company Vicarious, they may have created an algorithm that could essentially “break” the internet as we know it.
This would require every website in existence that has this security feature to implement a new one. Fast. If not, this could be a free-for-all opportunity for online users who engage in nefarious activities. But not all of this is a bad news situation. This could be the very breakthrough that computer scientists and garage nerds have been attempting to create. Computers that can visualize what humans can.
At the forefront of this technology is an algorithm called the Recursive Cortical Network. It is in effect the attempt to mimic the somatosensory system in humans on computers. The scientists at Vicarious believe that higher level intelligences are in fact built on the somatosensory system and are running with that idea.
Is it truly able to decipher images as a human can? Does it really take the CAPTCHA and solve it intelligently or does it have specific code written to handle on a few known CAPTCHA “locks?” At the time of writing this blog post, there is no definitive proof (no technical publications to date) or even a glimpse at the source code to determine its credibility. Although, if they did offer the source code for something of this nature, that would be a HUGE security issue for all internet users.
Outside the world of security, this technology might just hold the key to improving vision for robots and other machines.