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I just learned from Hito Steyerl in her book Duty Free Art: Art in the Age of Planetary Civil War that captchas (Completely Automated Public Turing Test[s] to Tell Computers and Humans Apart) were not just random but were once used by Google to check scanned texts (Google Books) & addresses (Google Street View) for accuracy. People were already completeing 200 million captchas a day—to the tune of 500,000 hours—so they put us to work.

Me, I'm happy to be turned into a bot to improve maps and keep my accounts secure. I'm sure there's an argument against it but hey, it's 10 seconds of my life & I do plenty of unpaid labor all day long that takes up a lot more of my time than that.
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