Completely Automated Public Turing Test To Tell Computers And Humans Apart

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What Does Completely Automated Public Turing Test To Tell Computers And Humans Apart Mean?

Completely automated public Turing test to tell computers and humans apart, better known as CAPTCHA, is a test to ensure responses through a human versus a computer program.

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CAPTCHA was developed at Carnegie Mellon University by Nicholas J. Hopper, John Langford, Luis von Ahn and Manuel Blum. CAPTCHA automatically generates response challenges by providing a problem which can only be solved by humans, automatically preventing access to system software and requesting a typed character series.

A computer administers CAPTCHA to a human, whereas a human administers the Turing Test to a machine.

Techopedia Explains Completely Automated Public Turing Test To Tell Computers And Humans Apart

Websites utilize CAPTCHA to prevent quality of service (QoS) degradation by bots or other automated programs by using a test only understood by humans. CAPTCHA enhances security by using background noise, which appears as character letters or links to actual letters. All online systems are constantly vulnerable to hacking. Including a CAPTCHA element on a registration form can help avoid brute-force hacking attempts. This is simply one element of security, as getting around a CAPTCHA element on a page is extremely simple for a human.

To the average user, the CAPTCHA element is “that annoying box at the bottom of a registration form.” While it is simple to implement from a Web development perspective, a web designer needs to decide whether user annoyance is worth the added security.

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Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor
Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.