||the Fifteenth of October, 2003|
|A good article on that ESP game, saying how much useful work can
be achieved if you can trick human users into processing data as part of a
"game" (cf. The
Spiders); a computer can't tell if a person is hot or not, but
its bank of voluntary human slaves can.|
From this comes a magnificent countermeasure to CAPTCHA testing
(asking a user to read a heavily distorted image of a word
before letting them sign up to something, to filter out evil
"Someone designed a software robot that would fill out a registration
form and, when confronted with a CAPTCHA test, would post it on a free
porn site. Visitors to the porn site would be asked to complete the test
before they could view more pornography, and the software robot would
use their answer to complete the e-mail registration."
Human perception is preciously impossible to simulate, but it's
also very, very cheap and widespread and gullible. How long before
Google ditches PageRank in favour of a bank of goo-filled life-support
pods beneath their offices?
"Agree on order of play, Players take turns. On each
turn, a player will state a new rule for the game and show an example of
it on the board."
I'm not sure how I managed to overlook Lemma
before now; it's a very elegant glass-bead sort of game that feels a
lot like the embryonic or evolutionary development of an organism, a petri-dish of mutating single-cellulars - progression from simple, meaningless behaviour into fixed and complex patterns.