Detecting a crime before it happens- LA Times
Burns, who works in the Homeland Security Advanced Research Project Agency is developing “mal-intent”- software and technology that could potentially detect nonverbal cues from people who harbor malicious intent. The technology being developed “represents the future in screening: trying to find the bomber, not just the bomb” according to the article, written by Bob Drogin.
Larry Willis, who works in the Human Factors Division, is developing technology that can spot microexpressions, that “may or may not indicate hostile intent.”
Dr. Paul Ekman, the scientific consultant of Lie to Me and one of the leading researchers in the field, doubts that high tech-tools can do any better than behavior detection officers. He also dismisses Willis’ work and says that “The research already shows that not every person intending hard shows micro-expressions” and that the program is “A waste of time.”
However, other leading researchers in the field disagree.
Dr. Mark Frank, a psychologist at the State University of New York at Buffalo and deception expert, calls the work “worthwhile” and says that “If the science helps us make better guesses, I think that it is very productive and at least it’s the right approach.”
Dr. David Matsumoto agrees with Dr. Frank. Although he says a 100% foolproof system is never going to happen, he also says that its possible to “deploy something that better than what we have now” and that “both programs are well on their way to doing that.”