Are you a robot?

Google’s reCAPTCHA

Without a doubt you have seen the classic Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart (or CAPTCHA) plastered all over the internet, often standing guard at login screens to various websites or forums. This challenge-response test is used to determine whether the user is a computer or a human being, it is a safety measure used by companies to ensure that their pages, petitions, questionnaires etc. are not spammed by bots.

It is often a crucial, albeit annoying, security measure with rather interesting origins which posed many challenges to the users of the internet. It has been heavily criticised by groups with accessibility requirements as CAPTCHAs often prevented them from using certain aspects of the internet.

Google’s Introduction to reCaptcha

Google attempted to address many of said issues with the initial CAPTCHA system and redesigned it in order to streamline the process, this was motivated by the increasing number of AI programs capable of circumventing the original version of this system. Google increased CAPTCHAs security and ease of use.

How would you prove that you are not a robot?

See, this question is tricky. Apart from computers trying to filter out humans from their own kin, it is quite difficult to prove that you are human to another human. Imagine we are sending each other text messages and I ask you to prove that you are indeed a human being. You might send a picture or say something that a typical human could say, but computer programs are very sophisticated and would no doubt be able to mimic those responses. This is the foundation of The Turing Test.
You might try to define what it means to be human; a subjective definition of what it means to be alive and live as a human being. Perhaps, you will attempt to define what it means to be self-aware. Indeed, the question welcomes a long philosophical debate.

What does being human mean to you?