Researchers spot liars at a glance

Researchers spot liars at a glance
Roy Rubenstein US researchers have produced a facial recognition system that can spot subtle human expressions including the act of lying. Researchers at the California based Salk Institute and the University of California have developed a workstation-based system that analyses videotaped facial expressions. The expressions can be extremely brief – some lasting just a fraction of a second and be invisible to a person – but indicate key emotional states. “Our system basically automates the scoring of these facial expressions. For example, our system can score these expressions in about one minute when it would take a trained expert an hour to do,” said Terence Sejnowski, a lead researcher in the project and professor of computational neurobiology at Salk. The system analyses facial expressions according to 46 ‘micro-facial’ categories identified by Professor Paul Ekman at the University of California. “We can currently analyse half of the 46 facial expressions and we are working on optimising the software so that it can work in near real-time,” added Sejnowski. The system has already attracted interest from the US National Security Agency and Sejnowski hopes that a start-up company will commercialise the system for widespread use in psychoanalysis, employee screening and other applications.


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