AI-based lie detectors to be tested in EU airports

Starting November 2018, an artificial intelligence (AI) powered lie detector programme will be tested at airports in three EU countries: Hungary, Latvia, and Greece. Called iBorderCtrl (Intelligent Portable Control System), the system was designed to ‘enable faster and thorough border control for third-country nationals crossing the land border of EU member states’. As explained by the CNN, the system will involve a virtual border guard avatar which will ask travellers a series of questions (such as name, age, purpose of trip), and monitor gestures and facial expressions to assess whether they are lying. If it believes that a person is lying, the avatar will become ‘more sceptical’, change the tone of voice, and eventually, refer the person to a human border control officer. The technology, which is said to have been tested on only 32 people, is expected to have a success rate of 85%. The programme has attracted criticism from privacy activists, who describe it as a being part of a ‘broader trend towards relying on opaque, and often deficient, automated systems to judge, assess and classify people’. During the testing phase, only individuals who give their consent will actually test the technology.​