When I comment on another blog, I am often asked to prove I am not a robot before my comment will be accepted. Since I am so woefully challenged by technology, it is surprising to me—and a little flattering too—that I could be competing with anything so highly developed as a robot.
All I have to do to prove I am human is type a few blurred letters or distorted numbers into a box and I am admitted to the inner sanctum. It is a program called CAPTCHA, an acronym for: Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart. Sometimes the test letters or numbers are too distorted for me to read and I am compelled to try again and again before the security code is broken and I am allowed to enter into the next interactive level of the blogosphere. It makes me feel more like a spy than a robot.
I am moderately aware of the insidious nature of the evil genius robot on the internet: those robots that make you think there are more people reading your blog than there really are, or send you junk mail, or stalk you for their own dark, nefarious purposes. From what I have read, however, most of the robots using computers are as friendly as R2D2, Wall-E or Commander Data.
Statistically, I expect my own security system to be breached someday—I just don’t have the hubris to think that I can outsmart a robot indefinitely. Despite my clever passwords and malware protection I will probably click on some alluring advertisement or innocent looking video and leave the back door open to the bad guys. At that point I will need help. Superhuman help. So, I am wondering: Is there a test to tell the Superheroes from the humans? Perhaps someone will invent a Get me Out of here Turing test to tell Superheroes and Humans Apart—GOTSHA.