Polygraph Alternatives: “Eyedetect” – Your Eyes Are Telling Lies
In today’s article I will continue to introduce and discuss methods for lie detection which are alternative or used in combination with the polygraph. In the previous chapter I discussed how reaction time could be used to tell if someone is being deceptive or not. If you missed that article, I suggest you read it.
Today’s post would be about a technological product called “Eyedetect” which is called “the next generation lie detector” with the stunning accuracy of 90% on a single issue in 15 minutes testing.
What is “Eyedetect”?
“Eyedetect” is a product of the company “Converus”. The people behind this company and the technology of “Eyedetect” have a vast background in scientific research, psychology and lie detection. They claim that it is “the most accurate lie detector in the world”, but only people who had experience with it could tell us that for sure.
How does “Eyedetect” work?
The subject takes the test infront of a computer. The head of the subject is stabilized on chin rest. A calibration test follows in which the subject has to answer a number of true/false questions.
A special infrared camera detects the involuntary movements of the pupil of the eye. All the responses are stored on a secure, encrypted data locker.
The results are scored by an algorithm specifically designed for the purpose of “Eyedetect”. A single test takes between 15 and 30 minutes.
But how does “Eyedetect” REALLY work?
Do you remember the cognitive theory we discussed in the previous chapter? Well it turns out that “Eyedetect” uses the same principles. Being deceptive is demands more cognitive effort than being truthful. On one side, deceptive behavior is related to scheming, comparing and executing purposefully incorrect responses. Thе еxtra vigilancе rеquirеd by dеcеption rеsults in incrеasеd cognitivе workload, which is rеflеctеd in incrеasеd quеstion rеsponsе еrrors, incrеasеd quеstion rеsponsе timе, and an incrеasе in ovеrall rеading and rе-rеading timе.
Already sounds familiar?
On the other hand, deception also demands caution and strategy. As such, general indicators of processing difficulty such as:
• Question response time, pupil diameter, and number of fixations while reading;
• Initial and delayed processing difficulty when taking a first pass, and then a second when reading is affected.
The infrared camera captures all involuntary movements of the eye such as pupil dilation, blink rate and other eye movements to accurately detect deceptive behavior.
Advantages of “Eyedetect”
While the creators of this technology have stated a lot of advantages of “Eyedetect”, I would only discuss those which I actually find beneficial, compared to polygraph testing.
• High accuracy – field studies show accuracy levels between 86 and 90%. This data is stated by the creators, but other research suggest lower percentages closer to 50. Similar research exist regarding the polygraph testing as well. You should keep in mind that the accuracy of such technology and testing techniques are highly influenced by the level of experience and mastery of the examiner – in some way such controversies in different studies are normal to occur.
• Time efficient – One test takes between 15 and 30 minutes. Given the fact that one polygraph test takes at least 2 hours, “Eyedetect” most definitely wins this round. Again – keep in mind that the duration of a single test also depends on the amount of topics included, the expertise and knowledge of the examiner and the cognitive and psychological features of the examinee (such as personality, IQ etc.).
• Test results are scored autonomously – The subjects take the test on a computer. The algorithm scores the results in 5 minutes and the final score cannot be influenced by the examiner – something which the polygraph testing is still lacking. The results of a polygraph test are also highly dependable on the expert’s knowledge and experience. Of course, today there are algorithms which are almost as accurate as a human could be, but in 90 % of the polygraph practice today the final score is given by a person. “Eyedetect” is a gamechanger in this manner.
• Flexible and portable – Last but not least, flexibility is something which is highly demanded nowadays. And while the polygraph machine has made a lot of progress towards these demands, I personally think that there is still a lot to require.
Applications of “Eyedetect”
Similarly to polygraph testing, “Eydetect” finds various application in investigations, law enforcement, corporate security and pre-employment testing, sex offenders, counterterrorism.
“Eyedetect” is the product technological advancement combined with more than 100 years of deliberate lie detection research in response to today’s demands for automated and accurate noninvasive method for detecting deception. And while the polygraph is still struggling with bans in courts and other limitations (ironically in the US, whose scientists have developed it mostly), “Eyedetect” have already been used in court on some cases including sexual crimes.
To be honest, I have never used “Eyedetect”, but I am very curious about unveiling its full potential and fully understanding the way it works. Despite that I think that “Eyedetect” seems a promising tool for lie detection. Even though it has a lot of advantages to the “good old” polygraph, the researchers behind it are still not confident enough to say that their product is good enough to completely replace the “lie detector”. Rather, “Eyedetect” would work best in combination with the polygraph, and hopefully in the hands of the right expert both methods would help us solve more crimes and bring more bad guys to justice.
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