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