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EU travellers to face lie detector tests

New trial hopes to improve security and speed

The European Commission has announced it will trial a “smart lie-detection system” in order to tighten its borders and speed up traffic at border crossings. 


The trial, to be undertaken in fringe EU countries Greece, Hungary and Latvia, will see visitors asked questions “personalised to the traveller’s gender, ethnicity and language” by artificially intelligent, computer generated guards. 



“The unique approach to ‘deception detection’ analyses the micro-expressions of travellers to figure out if the interviewee is lying,” the EU Commission said of the initiative, called IBORDERCTRL.


After uploading pictures of their passport, visa and proof of funds, travellers will go through a pre-security check before they are handled in a second stage at the actual border.


Further screening will take place based on a traveller’s potential risk.


“We’re employing existing and proven technologies – as well as novel ones – to empower border agents to increase the accuracy and efficiency of border checks,” European Dynamics project coordinator George Boultadakis said.


“IBORDERCTRL’s system will collect data that will move beyond biometrics and on to biomarkers of deceit.”


According to New Scientist, the avatar guards will ask travellers questions like “What’s in your suitcase? If you open the suitcase and show me what is inside, will it confirm that your answers were true?”.


Before the trial has even begun however, some experts are questioning the process.


“If you ask people to lie, they will do it differently and show very different behavioral cues than if they truly lie, knowing that they may go to jail or face serious consequences if caught,” Imperial College London’s Maja Pantic told the outlet. 


“This is a known problem in psychology.”


Written by: Mark Harada
Published: 2 November 2018

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