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CAPTCHA – Too Difficult For The Vision Impaired

August 17th, 2014 by Tanbir Leave a reply »

recaptcha-exampleYou may have heard or stumbled upon the CAPTCHA system as you have surfed across the internet. This word is actually the shortage for Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart. This concept was introduced in 2000 by the scientists from Carnegie Mellon University. The Turing test is actually a method to tell if a computer can act as a human being. In case the computer passes the tests, this means that it can fool a person to think that they are talking to another human individual. This test was developed by Alan Turing and presented in a paper in 1950.

Solving the CAPTCHA test

The CAPTCHA solving is actually a challenge system that will see if you are or are not a human being. The test has sounds, pictures or text, which are generated automatically. Normally robots and computers should not understand these things. At first these tests were really difficult for people with hearing, mental or vision problems. Also, small children could not pass them with ease. This means that the CAPTCHA recognition system would allow people that have perfect sight and hearing to solve those puzzles. Before the 2007, the tests were not complicated at all. In those days, the sheer estimation was that 160,000 hours were spent in solving the puzzles. By today, the number is probably close to a million hours.

The simpler approach

Most people who use the Recaptcha options, believe that the test should be simple. There are so many examples of tests that anyone can pass. The issue is that today many tests will defeat the OCR. They have garbled the number and the words in such a manner that an ordinary person might need to retry multiple times. In many cases, even a teenager finds it hard to read what the picture or the text say. Most people think that the Turing test should be much simpler. The preferred alternatives would be picking out from a list, reading distorted test or adding two or more numbers.

The bad thing is that the people with problems of sight will undergo a great effort in order to solve the issues. The alternative is to offer an audio source where you are able to hear the text. The problem is that in many cases the audio might not be that understandable. These things limit a lot the actions that you can do online and this means that the tests have to be simplified a lot.

The main benefit of the sites that use such challenge systems is that they will improve the way in which the websites are secured. The web surfers can be sure that the information will not be used in any other way. Even if the CAPTCHA can be considered difficult and you need to try multiple times, there are certain benefits of using them. On the other hand, the web developers need to think about manners in which they can help the people with vision problems surf the web without issues.

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