The European Union is testing so-called “smart” lie-detector tests to screen people crossing borders and in airports.
EU officials say the artificial intelligence (AI) based IBORDERCTRL system allows travellers to upload images of their passports and other documents, then uses an animated border guard on a video screen to ask questions.
“The unique approach to ‘deception detection’ analyses the micro-expressions of travellers to figure out if the interviewee is lying,” according to a media release.
The avatar will react to perceived lies with a skeptical tone. Travellers suspected of being untruthful will be further screened by real-life border agents, who will also compare the images captured through the system to physical documents.
CNN reports that the system will be tested at airports in Hungary, Greece, and Latvia.
“It will ask the person to confirm their name, age and date of birth, (and) it will ask them things like what the purpose of their trip is and who is funding the trip,” said Keeley Crockett of Manchester Metropolitan University in England, who worked on the project.
Some security experts expressed doubts about the system. “Traditional lie detectors have a troubling history of incriminating innocent people,” said Frederike Kaltheuner, data program lead at Privacy International. “There is no evidence that AI is going to fix that.”