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.
Robin and Jeremy

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

June 6 Comment

Introducing A New Here & Now Website

Coming June 9, 2016, Here & Now listeners and visitors will experience our stories and journalism online in a whole new way.

June 3 Comment

Teenagers Create Impromptu Exhibit At San Francisco Museum Of Modern Art

As the pair toured the museum, they wondered if they could do better. So 16-year-old Kevin Nguyen decided to get creative.

June 3 3 Comments

‘Silver Linings Playbook’ Author Explores Conformity, Mental Health In New Teen Novel

Matthew Quick published his fourth young adult book, "Every Exquisite Thing," this week.

June 2 13 Comments

Do Meal Kits Provide Great Taste Along With Convenience?

Resident chef Kathy Gunst tested a multitude of meal kits, and gives co-host Jeremy Hobson the inside scoop.