Google posted a YouTube video of it in action. The video mostly corporate fluff with a Wes Anderson vibe, but the new reCAPTCHA does seem to be much more simple for actual users. http://youtu.be/jwslDn3ImM0
As for whether it is better at stopping bots, I’m pretty sure it has to be. That’s not so much a testament to the efficacy of the new method as it is a condemnation of the old one. I’ve seen studies that show today’s bots could effectively defeat CAPTCHA with 99.8% accuracy.
One benefit for everyone (except spammers) is that the new reCAPTCHA improves on its effectiveness while actually making it easier for people to prove they are human. In an attempt to keep ahead of bots, the old CATCHA has gotten harder and harder for actual people to decipher. I know there have been many times where I couldn’t tell what the CAPTCHA really was, and had to try again to gain access. That doesn’t help anyone. The new system seems much easier for humans, with it being boiled down to a single question in some cases, and simple picture subject matching in others. I think it will be an improvement all around, at least until spammers figure out how to make smarter bots.