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CAPTCHA are a thorn in the side of web users. Those almost indecipherable string of letters and numbers that are meant to help websites determine that you are a human rather than a spambot often cause more frustration for users than anything else, and they have now been cracked. Vicarious, a California-based AI team, reveals that it has been able to develop algorithms that can successfully solve CAPTCHAs from the likes of Google, Yahoo and PayPal. The cracking of CAPTCHAs by machine is nothing all that new, but Vicarious is reporting an extremely high success rate -- the algorithm is successful in up to 90 percent of cases. The company goes as far as saying that "this advancement renders text-based CAPTCHAs no longer effective as a Turing test". The Turing test -- introduced by Alan Turing, one of the old-masters of computing -- was developed to test whether a computer could pass itself off as a human being. View the full article