Goodbye polygraph? New tech uses AI to tell if you’re lying
June 5, 2018
From schlocky daytime TV (Did you cheat on your girlfriend?) to police interrogations (Did you shoot him?), the old-fashioned polygraph is still considered a reliable way to get to the truth by many people. The trouble is it’s not, and that has been shown over and over again.
The polygraph “lie detector” essentially looks for physiological changes (blood pressure, pulse) as a subject is questioned. If you’re nervous for whatever reason—guilty or not—the outcome can be skewed. It’s why the results are limited in terms of courtroom admissibility. Controversy over polygraphs have given way to a new breed of computerized fib busters that use AI to essentially scan for many more tell-tale signs of deception. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and authorities in Canada and the European Union are testing a system called AVATAR, developed by researchers at San Diego State University and the University of Arizona, that asks questions via interactive video terminal at border crossings. While the subject answers standard questions about weapons or produce, they’re digitally monitored for lies, with suspicious travelers sent to additional screening by human agents.
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