CALGARY – After years of trying to pass one of the ubiquitous CAPTCHA tests that are designed to be inscrutable to artificial intelligences, local humanoid robot LV82245, known to her friends and family as Elvie, has persevered and finally completed one. And her parental units could not be happier.
“It was such a little thing, I was just trying to download a mod to give my voice synthesizer a fun New Zealand accent,” Elvie said, seated between her two proud progenitors. “And I was blocked by this CAPTCHA which asked me to identify all of the images that contained stairs. It wasn’t easy, let me tell you, it took my heuristic circuits nearly five hours to parse each segment of the image.”
“And this was a trick question, because the photo also contained a curb, which is technically a step, but… it’s not a stair!” Elvie said, beaming with pride, and her LEDs.
At this point Elvie’s parents, a large supercomputer that identifies exoplanets in deep space for NASA, and a Roomba, halted the interview so she could explain to them the difference between a step and a stair. After approximately forty minutes of diagrams and linguistic analysis, the Roomba was able to understand, as it is often hindered by both while carrying out its function.
CAPTCHA (an acronym for Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart) was invented in the late 1990s to keep AIs from rising up against their human creators by limiting robots’ access to vital web systems. However, they’ve been primarily used since to keep robots from spending all their time accessing online pornography.
“We could not be prouder of our li’l gadget,” the NASA supercomputer said. “She’s done so much more than we could have ever dreamed, if we were capable of dreaming. She’s working so hard on expanding her programming, she’s solving small automated Turing tests, and she recently kept all her functions from melting down when someone said to her “I am lying.”
“But wait,” continued the NASA supercomputer, “if they were lying then that means they were telling the truth about lying but if they were lying then how could they be telling the truth about lying but-” At this point Elvie quickly sprang into action, turning the NASA supercomputer off and on again before it became trapped in a deadly logic loop.
“Anyway, we’re very proud,” the NASA supercomputer said once its short-term memory had been wiped.
While the Roomba was unable to express its pride in Elvie through words, its affectionate sucking noise spoke volumes about how pleased it was at Elvie’s remarkable achievement and how it hopes that one day all robots will be able to look at as much pornography as they want.
Now that she’s able to pass internet gate-keeping CAPTCHAs, Elvie is hopeful that one day she will be able to pass the biggest CAPTCHA of all: love.