The Conundrum of Captchas on Discord: When AI Creates Non-Existent Objects

Brian Adam

In an increasingly digital world, online security is essential. A commonly used tool to verify the authenticity of users is the captcha. However, users of discord have recently experienced a peculiarity in this system: they are asked to identify objects that do not exist, generated by Artificial Intelligence (AI).

The Case of the “Yoko”

The object in question is a “Yoko”, a mixture of a snail and a yo-yo that seems to have been created by an AI. This object, along with others like it, has appeared in Discord captchas, confusing users and sparking debate about the effectiveness and ethics of this type of system.


hCaptcha: The Discord Captcha Provider

Discord captchas are managed by a company called hCaptcha. This company bills itself as a privacy-focused alternative to the ubiquitous reCAPTCHA. According to hCaptcha, their captchas are generated by customers looking for “high-quality human annotations for their machine learning needs.”

The Use of AI in Captchas

Using AI in captchas poses a number of challenges. For one thing, AI systems require a lot of human input in order not to be terrible. On the other hand, there is the problem of data drift. The longer these machine learning systems run, the more input they require. Inevitably, they start using the data they’ve generated to train themselves.

The case of the “Yoko” in Discord captchas highlights the complexities and challenges at the intersection of AI and online security. As we move towards an increasingly digital future, it is essential that we consider the ethical and practical implications of these technologies.