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'Avatar' Brings Lie Detector Tests to Airport Security Lines

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Forget full-body scans and pat-downs at airports. Get ready for the automated lie detector test.

Researchers at the University of Arizona are currently working on a machine known as the Automated Virtual Agent for Truth Assessments in Real-time, or 'Avatar.' Though it's only about the size of an ATM machine, Avatar can apparently pick up on the kind of physiological nuances and quirks that separate liars from truth-tellers, and criminals from normal folk.

Using a high-definition camera and infrared sensors, the device can analyze both the facial expressions and voice of a given passenger. The infrared sensors measure the dilation and movements of a subject's eyes, while an ultra-sensitive microphone dissects the way a person speaks. A close examination of these characteristics can then determine whether or not a passenger is telling the truth.

There are, however, some obvious loopholes. For example, if a passenger has certain medical problems, or is abnormally sensitive to light, Avatar could mistakenly interpret his or her facial expressions and sound the alarm. The device's developers have therefore recommended that a human agent monitor Avatar's scans in order to watch out for any false alarms.

It will probably be a while before Avatar makes it to airports, anyway. The machine is still in its testing phase, and will probably need some extra tweaking before being implemented at security lines.

Tags: airport, AirportSecurity, Avatar, criminal, HomelandSecurity, LieDetector, lies, security, top, tsa

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