R U a Robot?

I never thought I’d be eager to perform math. It was never my best subject in school.

Am I the only one who struggles with those infuriating new “Are you a robot?” tests?


Does this look like food to you?

The old online security tests designed to determine whether or not you’re a human being had either a series of squiggly letters and numbers or a simple math problem, like 7+9=?

The newer tests present a series of nine thumbnail images with instructions such as “Mark all images of food.”

This sounds deceptively simple in theory. But there’s always one image that I have no idea what it is.

One recent “mark all food images” test had stuff like a hamburger, a piece of cake, a sunset, a monkey, and something that looked like a petri dish to me. I’m staring at the screen like an idiot, eyes squinted, trying to figure out if it’s a photo of something edible.

A “mark all beverages” test had both my husband and me trying to figure out if an image of stemmed glassware contained ice cream or a liquid, because clearly ice cream is not a beverage although it may be served in a beverage-style serving dish, as with parfait.

“It must be ice cream because it looks like it has nuts on top,” says hubby. “Is it nuts or is it fizz,” I said.

I think it’s nuts.

But no matter what I guess, it’s always wrong.

For crying out loud, why can’t they just ask me what 8+4 equals? Have robots gotten so smart that simple math can’t stump them? Or is the real purpose of these tests to weed out people who wear bifocals?!

Permanent link to this article: https://vickiefee.com/r-u-a-robot/


  1. I’m with you on the food and beverage ones! I have to guess because the photos are so bad, so ambiguous. I usually guess right, which astonishes me, but I still hate them.

    1. Kaye, either you’re a better guesser than me or your eyesight is superior to mine — or both!

  2. I can’t imagine that my eyesight is better than anyone’s. Just lucky, I think. I have missed on a few on the first try.

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