PLEDGE NOW
Here and Now with Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
Friday, March 1, 2013

Are Lie-Detector Kiosks The Future Of Border Security?

An image from a demonstration of the Embodied Avatar, by BORDERS, the National Center for Border Security and Immigration at the University of Arizona. (screenshot)

An image from a demonstration of the Embodied Avatar, from a video by BORDERS, the National Center for Border Security and Immigration at the University of Arizona.

Imagine going to the U.S. border with Mexico, and instead of talking to a border agent, you talk to a machine.

It asks you questions like “What’s your full name” and “Are you a citizen of the United States.”

All the while, the machine is monitoring different aspects of your behavior: how your eyes are moving, how your voice changes, how you pause between answers, how you fidget.

Taking these markers together, the machine – called an Embodied Avatar kiosk – can determine whether or not you’re being truthful.

This is the cutting edge of research in deception detection, which remains a surprisingly mysterious field, even though we’ve been building lie detectors for almost a hundred years.

Would you be on board with this technology at airports and border crossings?
Let us know on Facebook or in the comments below.

Guest:

  • Adam Higginbotham, journalist based in New York whose work has appeared in publications including Wired magazine, The New Yorker and Men’s Journal.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
Spotlight

From controversial new textbooks to a Maverick family reunion, here are stories from Jeremy Hobson's week in Houston and San Antonio.

Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

July 2 8 Comments

Professor Says Jefferson Davis Statue Should Be Removed, Preserved

At the University of Texas at Austin, there are calls to take down a statue of the Confederate president on campus.

July 2 2 Comments

Sweet And Savory Watermelon

Our resident chef shares five recipes, including watermelon pickles and a watermelon, crab and arugula salad.

July 1 5 Comments

What It’s Like To Lead A Non-Hierarchical Workplace

Terri Kelly is one of few people with a title at W. L. Gore – the maker of Gore-Tex – and she says she really doesn't like having one.

July 1 3 Comments

Joy Williams’ New American Songbook

The singer-songwriter and four-time Grammy winner joins us with a playlist of what she considers quintessentially American music.