The Virtual Lie Detector and skype

About a year ago I wrote about US Department of Defense plans to develop a lie detector that can be used without the subject knowing they are being assessed. It now looks like Skype may be getting in on the lie detector game too.


The DoD lie detector will use microwave or laser beams reflected off a subject's skin to assess various physiological parameters without the need for wires or skin contacts.

Bruce Stewart, writing for O’Reilly Emerging Technology , references a BBC article on KishKish who are offering lie detector software which works in conjunction with Skype.

The software claims to be able to analyze the stress levels of the voice on the other end of a Skype call when the software is installed.

One of the commenters on Bruce’s article pours a heavy dose of cynicism on the kiskkish claims:

“This is mad. Dissembling is only on possible cause of stress, there are many others. Even experts have difficulty reliably interpreting data like this. A lot of the people using this software will just be deceiving themselves.”

If we ever do get a credible VoiP lie detector it will be a huge success – just imagine we could check out whether virtual team members are exaggerating progress in team meetings.

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