Some people say we live in a matrix of lies where there’s a fine line between what’s true and what’s not. We have all probably had problems distinguishing deceivers from truth tellers at some point in our lives. But thanks to modern technology, we can now detect deceitful statements and gestures with the help of AI, adding an extra layer of protection to national security.
Lie detection is important in many areas, especially when it comes to immigration clearance. With more than 700 million travelers entering the EU every year, it has become increasingly difficult to uphold security protocols. This problem led the EU to develop a system called “iBorderCtrl” to enhance the accuracy and efficiency of border checks. The two-step system involves a pre-screening process where travelers answer questions from a computer-animated border agent, which are personalized to their gender, language and ethnicity. The AI analyzes each response by evaluating the honesty of interviewees based on their language cues, tone of voice and non-verbal micro expressions, before assigning them a risk score.
The second step occurs at the actual border where travelers are subjected to a re-evaluation of travel documents and fingerprinting. Travelers who have been identified as high risk will undergo a more detailed check, or even an additional screening. It is believed that the system will save significant time for both border agents and travelers.
Initial trials of iBorderCtrl conducted in Greece, Hungary and Latvia last year report a satisfactory accuracy rate of about 75%. However, further developments are required before the system can be officially implemented across the EU. Moreover, the EU is currently looking into ways to improve the system so that it can better understand human emotions, ultimately preventing interviewees from feeling they are being interrogated. If all goes well, the EU could be the pioneer of a smart border, making travel easier and safer.
As for Thailand, more than 38 million foreign travelers entered the country in 2018. With such a huge volume of travelers, something like iBorderCtrl would surely help relieve some of the pressure faced by border agents.