Newsletters
Customer Relationship Management News NewsFactor Sites:       NewsFactor.com     Enterprise Security Today     CRM Daily     Business Report     Sci-Tech Today  
   
Home CRM Systems Customer Service Business Intelligence Sales & Marketing More Topics...
World Wide Web
24/7/365 Network Uptime!
Average Rating:
Rate this article:  
Google
Google's Street View Unitentionally Unravels CAPTCHAs

By Barry Levine
April 17, 2014 1:47PM

Bookmark and Share
CAPTCHAs have been used for longer than a decade to prevent automated software from conducting transactions on Web sites, but Google says the Street View technology can decipher the "hardest distorted text puzzles" with more than 99 percent accuracy -- outperforming humans doing the same CAPTCHA task.
 



CAPTCHAs, those visual jumbles of numbers and letters, have been used to separate the humans from the bots because software couldn't read visuals all that well. Now, Google has created software for its Street View cars to read street numbers in its images -- and may have overturned the value of CAPTCHAs in the process.

In a post Wednesday on the Google Online Security Blog, the company's reCAPTCHA Product Manager Vinay Shet noted that the technology finds and reads street numbers in Street View imagery, and then correlates those numbers with existing addresses so that they can be shown on Google Maps. The software has been described in a scientific paper presented at the International Conference on Learning Representations 2014. It is able to detect and read difficult numbers with a 90 percent accuracy, which can reach 96 percent in some cases.

Street View obviously needs such rigorous software if the millions of recorded street addresses are going to be available through Google Maps without manual tagging. Weather conditions, varying quality in street numbers and signs, and lighting conditions also add to the difficulty of the problem.

99 Percent Accuracy

To accomplish this task, Google brings together the three main components of such visual interpretation -- localization, segmentation and recognition -- through the use of a neural network that is optimized for image recognition.

CAPTCHAs have been used for longer than a decade to prevent automated software from conducting transactions on Web sites, but Shet says the Street View technology can decipher the "hardest distorted text puzzles" with more than 99 percent accuracy.

In fact, according to various anecdotal reports on the Web, this accuracy rate is now far higher than what many humans can achieve in trying to figure out the distorted and twisted text. And, since accurately reading street numbers is a frustrating task for any carbon-based lifeform, Google's technology is likely outperforming humandom there as well.

ReCAPTCHA is a free service from Google to keep automated software agents out of Web sites. The solved text or deciphered images have also been used to help digitize hard-to-solve text, to annotate images or to build machine learning datasets, as humans correctly deciphered parts of old texts that standard optical character recognition software could not.

'Advanced Risk Analysis'

Google's reCAPTCHA department apparently knew where the Street View department was heading, so last year the company announced reCAPTCHAs would reduce their reliance on text distortions to tell humans from bots.

In October, Google said that reCAPTCHA was updated to use "advanced risk analysis techniques, actively considering the user's entire engagement with the CAPTCHA -- before, during and after they interact with it."

To accomplish that, different classes of CAPTCHAs were released for different kinds of users. More details were promised in the next few months. At the moment, however, how Google tells which of us are real and which of us are algorithms is a dark secret, probably kept in the same box as its search engine ranking routine.
 

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:



Salesforce.com is the market and technology leader in Software-as-a-Service. Its award-winning CRM solution helps 82,400 customers worldwide manage and share business information over the Internet. Experience CRM success. Click here for a FREE 30-day trial.


 World Wide Web
1.   Wall Street Journal Hacked Again
2.   Internet of Things Comes to DIYers
3.   Social Media Haters Speak Up
4.   New Technology Defeats Privacy Efforts
5.   Verizon Launches Rewards Program


advertisement
Radical.FM's Freemium Biz Model
Online radio startup asks for donations.
Average Rating:
Facebook Social Experiment Irks Us
Secretive test was legal, but ethical?
Average Rating:
Social Media Haters Speak Up
Survey says, now showing a little love.
Average Rating:
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
Dropbox for Business Beefs Up Security
Dropbox is upping its game for business users. The cloud-based storage and sharing company has rolled out new security, search and other features to boost its appeal for businesses.
 
Wall Street Journal Hacked Again
Hacked again. That’s the story at the Wall Street Journal this week as the newspaper reports that the computer systems housing some of its news graphics were breached. Customers not affected -- yet.
 
New Web Tracking Technologies Defeat Privacy Protections
Recently developed Web tracking tools are able to circumvent even the best privacy defenses, according to a new study by researchers at Princeton and the University of Leuven in Belgium.
 

Enterprise Hardware Spotlight
Microsoft Makes Design Central to Its Future
Over the last four years, Microsoft has doubled the number of designers it employs, putting a priority on fashioning devices that work around people's lives -- and that are attractive and cool.
 
Contrary to Report, Lenovo's Staying in Small Windows Tablets
Device maker Lenovo has clarified a report that indicated it is getting out of the small Windows tablet business -- as in the ThinkPad 8 and the 8-inch Miix 2. But the firm said it is not exiting that market.
 
Seagate Unveils Networked Drives for Small Businesses
Seagate is out with five new networked attached storage products aimed at small businesses. The drives are for companies with up to 50 workers, and range in capacity from two to 20 terabytes.
 

Navigation
CRM Daily
Home/Top News | CRM Systems | Customer Service | Business Intelligence | Sales & Marketing | Contact Centers | Customer Data | CRM Press Releases
NewsFactor Network Enterprise I.T. Sites
NewsFactor Technology News | Enterprise Security Today | CRM Daily

NewsFactor Business and Innovation Sites
Sci-Tech Today | NewsFactor Business Report

NewsFactor Services
FreeNewsFeed | Free Newsletters

About NewsFactor Network | How To Contact Us | Article Reprints | Careers @ NewsFactor | Services for PR Pros | Top Tech Wire | How To Advertise

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
© Copyright 2000-2014 NewsFactor Network. All rights reserved. Article rating technology by Blogowogo. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.