Are you man or machine? Vicarious is betting you won't be able to distinguish the latter from the former with its new technology.
The San Francisco-based startup is claiming to have created an algorithm that "reliably" solves CAPTCHAs -- meaning that it can program machines to act and think just like humans, according to a company press release.
If the company is to be believed, this is "the first time this distinctively human act of perception has been achieved," company co-founder D. Scott Phoenix said.
CAPTCHA is the series of scrambled letters or symbols that users need to decipher in order to proceed with use of sites like Paypal and others -- in order to determine they are real and not spambots.
While third-party verification of Vicarious's claims has yet to be secured, the company is no outlier built on lies: Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz sits on its board.
But according to Reuters, the algorithm was developed not to aid spambots at all.
"We wanted to show we could take the first step toward a machine that works like a human brain, and that we are the best place in the world to do artificial intelligence research," Phoenix told the newswire on Monday.