Monday, March 08, 2010

If we had handy, accurate lie detectors...

...would things be any better? This video answers that question.


  1. I should add: Professor Michael Starbird revealed, in a lecture last Wednesday, that he believes we'll achieve accurate lie detectors in the foreseeable future...something like 20 to 50 years.

  2. I suspect that by then we'll also have fairly sophisticated scrambling countermeasures available for everyday activities (though probably not of much use in interrogations).

    A danger to this is the idea that detecting a lie is the same as identifying the truth. Knowing that someone is lying to you doesn't really tell you WHY they are lying or necessarily give you the truth of what they are lying about.

    For example, you might be able to identify someone as a terrorist, but then you've got to have the right questions in hand to learn what their plans were. Or they simply might not talk.

    Funny video.

  3. Hey, wouldn't accurate lie detectors make one of the arguments against torture go away? Torture is stupid because you can't rely on what a tortured person says as being true. With a perfect lie detector, you could.

    Of course, I guess they could threaten to torture someone and ask questions and the person could offer true answers to avoid the torture. But there would be the temptation to torture someone who refuses to answer questions, yikes.