News Briefs Archive

Technology that Knows You’re Lying By Your Eyes

Dec. 12, 2018

Our eyes may soon give us away as liars, according to reporting by Mark Harris in WIRED.

A startup called Converus has created a system, EyeDetect, that uses machine learning to analyze tiny changes in a subject’s pupil dilation and reaction time.

Converus claims that EyeDetect is “the most accurate lie detector available,” boasting 86 percent accuracy. By comparison, many academics consider polygraph tests to be 65 to 75 percent accurate. The company already claims close to 500 customers in 40 countries, largely using the EyeDetect for job screening. In the U.S., this includes the federal government and 21 state and local law enforcement agencies, according to Converus.

The Department of State recently paid Converus $25,000 to use EyeDetect when vetting local hires at the US Embassy in Guatemala, WIRED’s reporting revealed. Converus says its technology has also been used in an internal investigation at the U.S. Embassy in Paraguay.

The technology may be far from perfect. WIRED found that, like polygraphs, EyeDetect’s results may introduce human bias and manipulation into its results. “But the fact that EyeDetect is cheaper and faster than a polygraph might make Converus’ new lie detector a tantalizing option for hiring offices across the country—a technology that could move into widespread use just as quietly as it leapt into existence,” Harris writes.

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