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.
A CAPTCHA scheme is considered broken if an algorithm is able to reach a precision of at least 1%. By leveraging core insights from machine learning and neuroscience, the Vicarious AI achieves success rates up to 90% on modern CAPTCHAs from Google, Yahoo, PayPal, Captcha.com, and others. This advancement renders text-based CAPTCHAs no longer effective as a Turing test.
“Recent AI systems like IBM’s Watson and deep neural networks rely on brute force: connecting massive computing power to massive datasets. This is the first time this distinctively human act of perception has been achieved, and it uses relatively minuscule amounts of data and computing power. The Vicarious algorithms achieve a level of effectiveness and efficiency much closer to actual human brains”, said Vicarious co-founder D. Scott Phoenix.
“Understanding how brain creates intelligence is the ultimate scientific challenge. Vicarious has a long term strategy for developing human level artificial intelligence, and it starts with building a brain-like vision system. Modern CAPTCHAs provide a snapshot of the challenges of visual perception, and solving those in a general way required us to understand how the brain does it”, said Vicarious co-founder Dr. Dileep George.
Solving CAPTCHA is the first public demonstration of the capabilities of Vicarious’ Recursive Cortical Network (RCN) technology. Although still many years away, the commercial applications of RCN will have broad implications for robotics, medical image analysis, image and video search, and many other fields.
“We should be careful not to underestimate the significance of Vicarious crossing this milestone,” said Facebook co-founder and board member Dustin Moskovitz. “This is an exciting time for artificial intelligence research, and they are at the forefront of building the first truly intelligent machines.”
Vicarious is an artificial intelligence company that uses the computational principles of the brain to build software that can think and learn like a human. The company was founded in 2010 by D. Scott Phoenix and Dr. Dileep George. Before co-founding Vicarious, Mr. Phoenix was Entrepreneur in Residence at Founders Fund and CEO of Frogmetrics, a touchscreen analytics company he co-founded through the Y Combinator incubator program. Previously Dr. George was Chief Technology Officer at Numenta, a company he co-founded with Jeff Hawkins and Donna Dubinsky (PALM, HAND) while completing his PhD at Stanford University. For more information about Vicarious, please visit www.vicarious.com.
 Text-based CAPTCHA Strengths and Weaknesses
Elie Bursztein, Matthieu Martin, and John C. Mitchell. Stanford University. ACM Conference 2011.