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Clicking “I’m not a robot” doesn’t do what you think…

It's more than that...


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Prasun Biswas

3 years ago | 2 min read

I have been blessed to have a great mentor in my life. Of all the great learnings, I have imbibed from him, one thing that has resonated more than anything else had been a statement “if you are not adding a couple of strong value lines on your CV every quarter, you need to change — your direction, department, boss or job”.

Over a period, though an exaggerated form, I have made sure that I learn something new (anything interesting) on every weekend. Though, given the other chores this creates an undue pressure, but I think it’s worth it.

Recently while exploring internet to quench the thirst of this learning, something interesting happened. (Universe finds a way !!)

Co-incidentally (and luckily), back to back I went to three websites which asked me to click on “I’m not a robot” checkbox. And the digital expert in me suddenly got curious, actually obsessed. I started working on an automation code to click on this checkbox with the hope that some roadblock will hit the way and it would be interesting to figure that out.

To my surprise, it turned out to be extremely simple to do.

There are very few moments like these wherein one experience multiple emotions together — sadness, happiness, confusion, excitement, joy, relief (and what not). I knew, I will be up to something for next few hours. This couldn’t be hoax. There is a reason why this “I’m not a robot” checkbox exist.

And finally, after multiple interesting reads, I figured it and realized that I couldn’t have ever thought of it. If, till now, you are in the same boat as mine, be ready for a ride.

When one clicks “I’m not a robot” checkbox, one allows the website to access the web history, mouse movements, clicks and anything you have typed for the last few minutes. Through all this information, the background algorithm assesses the behavior of the user to ascertain whether there is a human behavior or is automated (of a robot). So, if you have accessed your email, watched some videos on youtube, browsed facebook etc., the algorithm will categorize this as a human behavior and will let you in.

This all led to a series of thoughts:

a. It is important we live life with more mindfulness. There is so much we do on a daily basis without thinking the rationale behind things.

b. It’s an art to design a very simple looking solution with utterly complex backend algorithms.

c. And lastly, what could a human do to act like a Robot?

In a way, I think the day was cursed, the last point again triggered the “curious” part of my brain and I wasted a couple of more hours trying so many things on multiple websites to prove that I could act like a Robot. :) But to no avail !! I believe the concept of “singularity” has to be redefined to make it bi-directional. :)

I hope you will have the flurry of emotions next time you will click “I’m not a Robot”.

On lighter note, trust me upvote on the post doesn’t access your data — do try it on this post :P



Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article is the opinion of the author in his personal capacity and not of his employer


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Prasun Biswas

Data Scientist | AI/ML Advisor | Risk Analytics | Content writer


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