Interesting Patents:
Microsoft’s Non-human Detection Challenge

Gamified Challenge to Detect a Non-Human User
U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2021/0133304
Assignee: Microsoft

About the Patent Application

One of the most frustrating parts of using the internet is when a website makes you prove that you are not a robot and you’re asked, yet again, to spot all the traffic cones from a picture made up of maybe a dozen pixels. Instead, Microsoft is now seeking to gamify such a menial but necessary task in the digital world. This week Microsoft had a patent application published regarding a gamified challenge to detect a non-human user. 

The system uses dynamic animated objects that the user must interact with in a specific manner. On the back end, the system can make the game harder if the user fails the challenge. Additionally, using features extracted from the user session the system is able to detect that a challenge is being performed by a non-human using features extracted from the user session.

What the invention would do

This system is designed to counter internet bots, pieces of automated software, by providing a test that is only passable by a human. Current types of tests needed to thoroughly detect bots can be extremely boring and take valuable time from a user, which is where Microsoft seeks to improve the technology through their innovation. Thus, through animating geometric shapes and orienting them in a specific way, a gamified challenge can be created where the user must select the shapes in a specific order. 

While the user is interacting with the gamified challenge the system processes features of how the user interacts with the challenge to determine a risk level associated with the user. This method streamlines and increases the appeal of an otherwise redundant task. The ability to detect bots while providing a gamified challenge provides the user with an overall better experience while they browse through the internet while allowing websites to retain their security protocols.

Why this patent is interesting

Microsoft recognizes that the current methods of human verification are outdated, cumbersome, and too time-consuming for users. Instead of completely revolutionizing the way that human verification is done online, Microsoft seeks to clearly improve on the technology in a meaningful way. The use of gamification to enhance the system allows Microsoft to provide users with a new and innovative product. As this product develops and is deployed it will be interesting to see its adoption throughout the internet and just how quickly it may replace its predecessors.Written by John DeStefano, Technical Advisor
May 6, 2021