Interviewed by Melissa Lee on CNBC's Fast Money.
Vicarious, a San Francisco-based company that developed technology to solve Captcha queries last fall, just raised a big new $40 million round from investors including Joe Lonsdale's Formation 8, Mark Zuckerberg, Vinod Khosla and Peter Thiel.
Vicarious was founded by Mr. Phoenix and Dileep George, a Stanford Ph.D. graduate who studied hierarchical models of the brain. Their premise was to focus on the sensory aspect of the brain, particularly vision's critical role in the early stages of human development.
A Turing test in reverse. Interview with Thomas Hannagan, a cognitive scientist at the French National Center for Scientific Research and Aix-Marseille University.
A US-based start-up claims to have broken security tests used to tell humans and computers apart online. Vicarious said it had developed technology, based on the human brain, which could solve text-based Captcha test 90% of the time.
Can machines think? Not yet. But there is one at least partial test: the CAPTCHA, or "Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart," those distorted characters you have to type into a website that wants to repel automated programs from spamming or making comments in blog.
But more exciting, this might be a major breakthrough in computer science. Creating machines that can see the world and make sense of images as humans do is one of the "hard problems" in artificial intelligence. Breaking CAPTCHA is a milestone on that road - if Vicarious has pulled it off.
The start-up Vicarious, based in San Francisco, Calif., claims it has come up with artificial intelligence (AI) software that reads images nearly as well as humans and can crack a CAPTCHA 90 percent of the time. If the claims are true, they could signify a breakthrough in building AI that is indistinguishable from human cognition - at least when it comes to helping computers identify and understand images.
San Francisco, CA – Vicarious (http://vicarious.com), a startup developing artificial intelligence software, today announced that its algorithms can now reliably solve modern CAPTCHAs, including Google’s reCAPTCHA, the world’s most widely used test of a machine’s ability to act human.