Automatic Lie Detector
Coming soon to airports:
Tested in Russia, the two-stage GK-1 voice analyser requires that passengers don headphones at a console and answer "yes" or "no" into a microphone to questions about whether they are planning something illicit.
The software will almost always pick up uncontrollable tremors in the voice that give away liars or those with something to hide, say its designers at Israeli firm Nemesysco.
In general, I prefer security systems that are invasive yet anonymous to ones that are based on massive databases. And automatic systems that divide people into a "probably fine" and "investigate a bit more" categories seem like a good use of technology. I have no idea whether this system works (there is a lot of evidence that it does not), what the false positive and false negative rates are (this article states a completely useless 12% false positive rate), or how easy it would be to learn how to fool the system, though. And in all of these trade-off discussions, the devil is in the details.
Posted on November 21, 2005 at 8:07 AM • 26 Comments