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Why CAPTCHA Pictures Are So Unbearably Depressing

They force you to look at the world the way an AI does

I hate doing Google’s CAPTCHAs.

Part of it is the sheer hassle of repeatedly identifying objects — traffic lights, staircases, palm trees and buses — just so I can finish a web search. I also don’t like being forced to donate free labor to AI companies to help…




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Clive Thompson

Clive Thompson

I write three times a week about tech, science, culture — and how those collide. Writer for NYT mag/Wired; author of “Coders” and “Smarter Than You Think”

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