The Detroit Free Press Covers Are You a Human

Shannon Beeman
August 21, 2012

The Detroit Free Press recently ran an article profiling startup Are You a Human, a business built by three U-M MBA grads.  Are You A Human, which is based in Michigan, has received funding from the Zell Lurie Institute’s Frankel Commercialization Fund and is now well on its way to proving that there is a better way to block spam than forcing people to type in letters that appear in distorted text images.

Check out an excerpt from the article below and congratulations to the Are You a Human team!

3 MBAs answer computer spam with game-based sign-ons

August 19, 2012  |
By Katherine Yung

On the third floor of the M@dison in downtown Detroit, three University of Michigan MBA graduates are trying to prove there’s a better way to block computer spam than forcing people to type in the letters they see in distorted text images.

Their company is called Are You a Human and in January it launched PlayThru, simple games to replace those blurry text images known as CAPTCHAs.

The games are now available on more than 1,500 websites, and the company is introducing a new one every week. Designed to block automated computer programs from buying tickets, signing up for accounts, posting comments, etc., the games can be successfully played only by humans.

CAPTCHAs have become increasingly difficult to read, so people often leave a website rather than try to type in the letters. Are You a Human hopes its games avoid this pitfall, helping websites attract more users.

“CAPTCHA is a tool that is universally used but everyone hates,” said Tyler Paxton, who came up with the idea for the games and started the company with his classmates Reid Tatoris and Benjamin Blackmer.

To continue reading this article, please visit the Detroit Free Press website.