Thursday, June 2, 2011

And Here I Thought "Detect Lie" Was Just a D&D Spell

I consider myself very luck to be on a mailing list of a retired NYPD Sergeant that forwards police and law enforcement related articles on a daily basis.  This arrived yesterday, but I didn't get a chance to read it until today.  Notice the chance of success - maybe a similar ratio should be applied to the Detect Lie D&D spell ;)

Homeland security deploys mind-reading hardwareNail the perp while he thinks of the crime
By Nick Farrell — Tuesday, May 31st, 2011; 6:24 pm ‘Tech Eye.Net’

COMMENT:  This is not a joke.  There are at least four articles written on this Homeland Security program that have been posted on the internet. – Mike

The US Department of Homeland Security has begun field testing new technology which it thinks can identify people who intend tocommit a terrorist act, just by looking at them.

According to the magazine Nature, which we get for the spot the Schroedinger's cat competition, the US spooks have been conducting tests ofFuture Attribute Screening Technology (FAST) in the past few months at an undisclosed location in the northeast of the US.

The gear apparently uses remote sensors to measure physiological properties, such as heart rate and eye movement.

It has been in development since 2008 and it apparently can tell your intent to cause harm.

It is all based on a form of witchdoctor psychology called behavioral science. These boffins have the cunning theory that someone with mal intent may act strangely, show mannerisms out of the norm, or experience extreme physiological reactions based on the extent, time, and consequences of the event.

Homeland Security's FAST technology design so that coppers can basically arrest anyone who looks them funny. So no change there then.

The DHS claimed the machine was accurate 70 percent of the time the other 30 percent will probably get out of Guantanamo Bay in a couple of years.

However some boffins think the gear will give shedloads of false positives.

Tom Ormerod, a psychologist in the Investigative Expertise Unit at Lancaster University, told Nature that even having an iris scan or fingerprint read at immigration is enough to raise the heart rate of most legitimate travelers.

In short, coming into Los Angeles Airport would turn Mother Theresa into a screaming psychopath, it does not mean that you are going to act on your impulses.

1 comment:

  1. I think that using machines to detect a person's intent is ridiculous. Many of the people who actually intend to do harm are usually the ones that won't show any signs.
    I do, however, disagree with referring to the behavioral sciences as "witchdoctor psychology". As someone in the field I have issues with behavior scientists and analysts, but they are one of the most science oriented of the mental health sciences. I don't always agree with them, but I wouldn't call them witchdoctor any more than I would call a cardiologist a witchdoctor. As someone who survived a heart attack, I know that a great deal of what medical doctors do is trial and error or just plain old guesswork, but I trust my cardiologist a lot more than I would trust the opinion of someone who stayed at a Holiday Inn Express.


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