Robots – The Lie Detection Examiners of the Future?
By Todd Mickelsen, President and CEO −
I remember with fondness watching The Jetsons on TV as a child in the early 1970s. At that time, the thought of having robots do domestic duties seemed plausible and practical. Since then we’ve seen this idea come to fruition in more than one way ― and security clearances and interviews are no exception.
NCCA Study and Findings
According to a recent Washington Times article, the National Center for Credibility Assessment (NCCA) found interesting results from a study they conducted on this very topic.
The NCCA conducted a study in which U.S. Army basic camp trainees were monitored for heart rate and skin responses as they were interviewed by a computerized avatar ― a computer-generated face ― on the head of a robot. The fascinating result was that these trainees were found to be significantly more likely to admit to the avatar about certain facts and information than they were to answer the same questions in a questionnaire.
The questions used in this study focused on alcohol and drug use, criminal charges, and even mental health issues.
Lie Detection Methods for National Government
The NCCA’s findings indicate that there may be a way to alter the methods in which lie detection interviews are conducted in the future. On a national level, conducting national security clearance polygraphs tests in person is time consuming, labor intensive and costly to the federal government. A polygraph requires a certified examiner, precision equipment, and roughly two to four hours of time. The polygraph is also intrusive, relying on multiple sensors attached to the examinee to monitor heart rate, blood pressure, respiration, and skin conductance.
If individuals are more likely to disclose information to a less intrusive, technology-based lie detector, then developing technology in this sector could save time and money in gathering desired information.
Outsourcing Work to Technology
Technological developments today are leaps and bounds ahead of where they were just ten years ago. For example, the computerized polygraph was invented in 1991. Other lie detectors have been released in recent years to attempt to find a more precise, efficient method.
With the release of this study, it appears society is becoming increasingly prepared to rely on technology-based deception detection methods. Organizations may now choose to opt for newer solutions to conduct national security clearance exams.
EyeDetect™ by Converus is one such technology. EyeDetect can root out lying behavior by analyzing eye behavior. It uses an infrared optical scanner to measure subtle changes and combines the measurements in a mathematically optimal manner to detect deception. The person being tested sits in front of a computer and answers a series of true or false questions. The question responses, along with pupillary changes and eye movements, are uploaded to a secure cloud server where they are analyzed and measured. Finally, a detailed reporter is generated, describing the interviewee’s credibility with 85 percent accuracy.