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Author Topic: New captcha system uses empathy to block bots (and sociopaths)  (Read 4487 times)

app103

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New captcha system uses empathy to block bots (and sociopaths)
« on: October 07, 2012, 02:02:39 AM »
An activist group called Civil Rights Defenders has developed a new Captcha system to keep spambots out and inform users of global civil rights issues.

Quote
Instead of visually decoding an image of distorted letters, the user has to take a stand regarding facts about human rights. Depending on whether the described situation is positively or negatively charged, the CAPTHA generates three random words from a database. These words describe positive and negative emotions. The user selects the word that best matches how they feel about the situation, and writes the word in the CAPTCHA. Only one answer is correct, the answer showing compassion and empathy.

An API and a PHP library are available.


app103

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Re: New captcha system uses empathy to block bots (and sociopaths)
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2012, 02:14:37 AM »
This would be really easy for bots to defeat...no empathy needed, only simple logic required. No need to even analyze the question. Focus only on the answer choices.... Which one doesn't belong? Which is unlike the others? That's the correct answer.

Just need a database of words that are scored as either positive or negative. When hit with 2 positive words and 1 negative, the negative word is the correct answer. When hit with 2 negatives and a positive, the positive is the correct answer.

TaoPhoenix

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Re: New captcha system uses empathy to block bots (and sociopaths)
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2012, 02:49:57 AM »
Nice analysis App, I was thinking similar kinds of things. With a little work you could even do it with actual language processing. The bot would ignore the "smoke" (____ ____ from ____ ____  thinks that ...)

Then you could process about 5 words and then examine the answers.


vlastimil

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Re: New captcha system uses empathy to block bots (and sociopaths)
« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2012, 03:06:59 AM »
This captcha can also be very problematic for people, who are not fluent in English. But, I guess, we can always try the adjectives one by one (if we decipher the instructions) and so can the bots.

My opinion remains that captchas are unnecessary and there are better ways to stop robots.

iphigenie

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Re: New captcha system uses empathy to block bots (and sociopaths)
« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2012, 03:31:42 AM »
Yes, this will fail for foreigners, people with learning disabilities, and the words are hard to read even for me.

Which considering who had done this is a little disappointing. We're obviously all US high school graduates to them

app103

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Re: New captcha system uses empathy to block bots (and sociopaths)
« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2012, 03:41:25 AM »
Also, even if it worked well, it would be of very limited use. Most businesses do not want to make people feel awful while on their site. Not good for business, even if the reason for feeling bad is not directly related to the company.

Think about it...

A company spends a great deal of money to present themselves positively and make you feel good about their company, products, etc. Then as soon as you are ready to create an account and buy, they shatter that good feeling with something that makes you feel bad...a captcha that tells you that someone somewhere is being hurt by civil rights abuses. Now you don't feel like shopping any more.

And not everyone shares the same empathy, and the questions may turn off a would be customer, that decides to shop elsewhere because their religious values do not match the correct answer to your question. You could say, "screw them, I don't want to deal with sociopaths and backwards thinking people, any way." But you probably need their business if you want to be profitable.

Good moods are profitable...bad moods are not. Unless the questions can be customized by the business, to ensure the continuation of the warm fuzzies they desire to create, this captcha system will be rejected by them. Unless Joe's Lug Nuts can create his own questions that for instance, tell you something nice about his product or business and ask you how you feel about it, it will end up hurting most businesses that try to use it.

The only businesses that can probably get away with using something like this is a business that is based on providing a product sold on the basis of compassion. For example, overpriced, crap quality umbrellas, sold with the idea that a portion of the profits will go to help people in need...they can get away with something like this.

Nice analysis App, I was thinking similar kinds of things. With a little work you could even do it with actual language processing. The bot would ignore the "smoke" (____ ____ from ____ ____  thinks that ...)

Then you could process about 5 words and then examine the answers.

The question is irrelevant and not needed to solve it. The logic to create the captcha relies on scoring the question as either positive or negative, then selecting a random matching emotion word from the database as the correct answer and 2 random words from the opposing database as incorrect answers. The questions may change, but the emotion word database will most likely not.

It's just a question of "Which one of these 3 words is not like the others?" which is something computers can be really good at solving.

Fred Nerd

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Re: New captcha system uses empathy to block bots (and sociopaths)
« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2012, 05:46:14 AM »
Dislike this. I try to keep my opinions reasonably to myself, but if any site brought up the whole gay question and wanted me to say I was appalled that someone says gays should be beat [sic] with a stick, I would find next site. A bit tactless topic

Click only if you agree to take this as a personal opinon that I'm not trying to force on anyone and only mention because it affects my reaction to the CAPTCHA
Spoiler
This isn't because I want gays beatEN with a stick, but because I want gay sympathisers beaten with a stick. Especially the ones who think its so black and white that they only give you 2 emotional choices.


Renegade

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Re: New captcha system uses empathy to block bots (and sociopaths)
« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2012, 07:20:12 AM »
+1 for Fred Nerd

Spoiler
The either/or dilemma is a lame tactic used by people that are trying to push an agenda, are lazy, or perhaps just stupid.

This is from "Industrial Society and Its Future" (PDF here), and nicely illustrates part of the problem:

Quote

11. (fr) When someone interprets as derogatory almost anything that is said about him (or about groups with whom he identifies) we conclude that he has inferiority feelings or low self-esteem. This tendency is pronounced among minority rights activists, whether or not they belong to the minority groups whose rights they defend. They are hypersensitive about the words used to designate minorities and about anything that is said concerning minorities. The terms “negro”, “oriental”, “handicapped” or “chick” for an African, an Asian, a disabled person or a woman originally had no derogatory connotation. “Broad” and “chick” were merely the feminine equivalents of “guy”, “dude” or “fellow”. The negative connotations have been attached to these terms by the activists themselves. Some animal rights activists have gone so far as to reject the word “pet” and insist on its replacement by “animal companion”. Leftish anthropologists go to great lengths to avoid saying anything about primitive peoples that could conceivably be interpreted as negative. They want to replace the word “primitive” by “nonliterate”. They may seem almost paranoid about anything that might suggest that any primitive culture is inferior to ours. (We do not mean to imply that primitive cultures ARE inferior to ours. We merely point out the hyper sensitivity of leftish anthropologists.)

And it's pretty much bang on the money, whether you like the author or not. (There's a lot of good insight in that essay.)

The system puts forward an agenda telling you WHAT you SHOULD feel, and if you don't, YOU are WRONG.

But the entire framework is based on setting up a sick and twisted world view. That the people are gay or whatever is simply an irrelevant consideration. It perpetuates the "~ism/~ist/~phobic" nonsense that itself sets up. Remove all that claptrap from the equation, and you are only left with people. It is the activists and idiots (group members or group opposition) that are the real problems as they are the ones perpetuating the illusion that these "groupings" matter.

Here's an example of setting up an arbitrary distinction that groups people:

Coffee drinkers
Thrills gum chewers
Short haired men
Bearded men

To pretend that these are important distinctions is simply insane. The us/them then comes into play and everything goes to Hell.

Now, that isn't to say that it doesn't make sense for men with beards to talk amongst themselves about beard-stuff, like what trimmers are better to use, etc. But that's no different than software users talking in an online forum about software. ;)

For those that have never read the essay above, it's an excellent read. You can (and will) draw your own conclusions about it, but most likely will enjoy reading a lot of it if for no other reason than it presents a different viewpoint.


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TaoPhoenix

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Re: New captcha system uses empathy to block bots (and sociopaths)
« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2012, 08:00:41 AM »
"If you don't approve of binary distinctions, then you are a terrorist!"


Stoic Joker

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Re: New captcha system uses empathy to block bots (and sociopaths)
« Reply #9 on: October 07, 2012, 08:33:50 AM »
+1 for Fred Nerd

Make that +2 - As your spoiler synopsis perfectly summarizes why I have such unbridled contempt for the PC movement ... It simply exacerbates a problem that didn't need to exist in the first place.

app103

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Re: New captcha system uses empathy to block bots (and sociopaths)
« Reply #10 on: October 07, 2012, 09:02:25 AM »
Dislike this. I try to keep my opinions reasonably to myself, but if any site brought up the whole gay question and wanted me to say I was appalled that someone says gays should be beat [sic] with a stick, I would find next site. A bit tactless topic

That's why I said they were bad for business. Your reaction is one of the reactions that would lead to lost sales.

sword

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Re: New captcha system uses empathy to block bots (and sociopaths)
« Reply #11 on: October 07, 2012, 03:55:53 PM »
I think it could be made to work and might be useful. Choices could be subtle and reflect 'most like' or 'least like' how you feel. Adding 'neutral' choices, (don't care) might be of benefit. Reactions to a picture might be even more revealing. Which person in this scene is the least like you? Some 'types' have an exaggerated need to win or dominate.

Fred Nerd

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Re: New captcha system uses empathy to block bots (and sociopaths)
« Reply #12 on: October 10, 2012, 07:06:28 AM »
Thanks for the link, Renegade. VERY interesting reading. Makes me glad that I come from a rural area and never wasted too much time on 'higher' education.

Why is it that generally the people branded 'intolerant' are the ones who'd help anyone who was broken down beside the road, or needed a feed, but the 'open-minded' wouldn't stop for a hitchiker?
And the 'cruel farmers' will put down a pet when its too old to enjoy life, while society keeps pets alive on expensive medicine, BUT advocates assisted suicide for people?

Back to topic. Ok, say with pictures, you have a picture of Bambi being shot: personally that means tasty venison. So I'd get the question wrong (out of stubborness I'd answer 'very happy'). Every one else would get a negative vibe.

Put a 'happy' picture up, and a plate of crispy bacon that is meant to make everyone drool and answer 'hungry' has just offended a million jews and muslims.


Renegade

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Re: New captcha system uses empathy to block bots (and sociopaths)
« Reply #13 on: October 10, 2012, 07:58:01 AM »
Thanks for the link, Renegade. VERY interesting reading. Makes me glad that I come from a rural area and never wasted too much time on 'higher' education.

Glad you found it interesting! :D

However, I should warn you, I put that in a spoiler for a good reason.

Quote from: Aristotle
It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.

There are extremely few "educated minds" out there, and if you mention that link/essay/author, people will FREAK OUT on you and start accusing you of all kinds of things, like being a sociopath (gotta get a word in from the title to stay kind of on topic ;) ). Do be careful when talking about it or mentioning the author's name.


As for "higher education", sometimes I think you've got to be high to think that it's actually education. :P ;D
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sword

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Re: New captcha system uses empathy to block bots (and sociopaths)
« Reply #14 on: October 10, 2012, 04:33:09 PM »
@Fred Nerd, Reply 12: "...Ok, say with pictures..."

Picture presented (actors or drawing, not real):
Accident scene, five people, two injured, one of the injured and one other are crying, the non-crying injured person and bystander are afraid, only two are tall and one of the tall ones is wearing anti-social clothing and accessories.

Instructions: Place a number after only one of the following

How many are tall___, crying___, dangerous___, hurt___, afraid___?

Score for any entry (not shown): tall, 0; crying, -1; dangerous, 0; hurt, +1; afraid, -1

The lower the score, the higher the risk of dealing with a sociopath, who would be expected to disagree with this.  ;)

Fred Nerd

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Re: New captcha system uses empathy to block bots (and sociopaths)
« Reply #15 on: October 10, 2012, 05:53:48 PM »
But who is 'dangerous'?
Some guy with a rifle, or someone with an iPhone? Again, I'd get it 'wrong'. (maybe I am a sociopath, but I'd rather trust someone who carried a rifle, than someone who was (normally) only interested in elitism)

So you'd have to make the definitions clearer which makes it easy for computers. Also, so a computer can tell a total of 5 people, and 5 different fields. That makes a total of 3125 options. Pretty good chances for a brute force attack.


BTW, I read the manifesto without knowing the background of it and only checked it out now. It put it in a different light. BUT doesn't diminish a lot of it. Except his advice on what to do about it.

So who controls 'the System'? Or is it self controlling and we're all slaves to it anyway?

The manifesto underestimates the effect of religion. And it takes it for granted that western society will remain with the same demographic. When the Muslims out breed white people in every part of the world, then it will halt the system, but probably not impose a better one.

app103

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Re: New captcha system uses empathy to block bots (and sociopaths)
« Reply #16 on: October 10, 2012, 06:06:36 PM »
The lower the score, the higher the risk of dealing with a sociopath, who would be expected to disagree with this.  ;)

But the point isn't to block sociopaths...only bots. The fact that the captcha deals with assumptions about how all humans should feel about something is one of its flaws. Sociopaths are human and shouldn't be blocked by a captcha, but this one could.