Keira Knightly and Benedict Cumberbatch Popularize Technology Used 300 Million Times a Day

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

With the release of the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game in the US on November 21st, computational security just got sexy.  And the computational security experts at FunCaptcha think it's about time.

The film stars Keira Knightly and Benedict Cumberbatch, with Cumberbatch as the legendary Alan Turing, who many regard as being the father of modern computing and artificial intelligence. The film explores his tumultuous boarding school years, his controversial post-WW2 life but most importantly -- his time during WW2 when he covertly lead a ragtag group of scholars, linguists, chess champions and intelligence officers in breaking the code generated from the infamous Nazi utilized "Enigma" machines. In so doing, Turing and his team effectively ended the war in favor of the Allies, saving countless lives and breaking the back of Hitler's regime.

The link between FunCaptcha and Turing comes in the form of CAPTCHAs - the much-hated obscure letters and numbers that must be typed out to separate spammers and their "bot" programs from legitimate users.  CAPTCHA is an acronym that stands for "Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart" and they've historically been used to defend websites and online services from hackers and spam by distinguishing genuine human users from malicious bots. But it comes at a cost. This cost, something which FunCaptcha aims to solve, is that the traditional CAPTCHAs are frustrating and difficult to complete, driving away up to 25% of potential users.

SwipeAds COO and Founder, Matthew Ford, a former game designer with Atari and Microsoft and Turing expert, said these tests to stop automated systems from accessing registration and comment forms were essential to stop cyber-fraud and help maintain the integrity of on-line transactions, but are extremely frustrating for users.

"Studies show one in four attempts failing a standard CAPTCHA.  With more than 300 million tests served up every day, that's a lot of frustrated people.   In trying to stop spam and other kinds of online fraud, our industry kills user conversion.  We saw an opportunity to make the Internet even more secure while making the CAPTCHA test easier for genuine human users."

FunCaptcha uses gamified technology that is easy for humans but impractical for bots and automated systems to complete. SwipeAds CEO and Founder Kevin Gosschalk said the company's solution is proving to be of value to users and the sites that install it.

"We are serving up more than 30 million FunCaptchas a month with a conversion rate that is more than 20% higher than standard tests, which means more online users are doing business with our customers."

Ford sees a creative connection between Alan Turing and FunCaptcha. "Turing put the T into FunCaptcha, and that's so fitting. Alan Turing had a vast imagination about what computers would eventually become, and his vision is still ahead of our time. I think he'd believe as we do, that the urgent need to distinguish people from machine imitations will remain for centuries, and requires constant innovation."

The Imitation Game opens widely in the US on November 21st.   
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