A tech start-up says it has come up with software that works like a human brain.

A company in San Francisco says it's created a program that can crack CAPTCHA - those lines of squiggly text that some websites use to make you prove you're a human and not an automated spammer.

"Vicarious" says it didn't do it to hack websites, instead, its intent is to make a computer that acts more like a human brain.

The company hasn't submitted its algorithm for scientific review yet, but if it works it could also lead to breakthroughs that would vastly improve scanning software to read documents.