The lie detector test , or polygraph, is it reliable or not? An unresolved question that the world has been carrying around for decades, and despite the fact that the polygraph test is not considered valid by modern legal systems (Europe has tried to use it in a more “soft” way), in some jurisdictions, predominantly American, it is an accepted test as an optional element left to the evaluation of the jury. And it is from the USA that the “polygraph 2.0” arrives: it’s called EyeDetect , and is produced by Utah Converus.
Imagine being able to exonerate the innocent and identify the liars … just by looking them in the eye. Well now you can! – insures the company through its YouTube channel where it promotes EyeDetect.
At the base of EyeDetect, as can be understood from the name, there is the belief on the part of the creators that the eye with his movements can give incontrovertible indications on the veracity of what is stated . The front of the skeptics of this “new” methodology to unmask the liar asserts that EyeDetect is nothing more than a polygraph with a few more algorithms, while the line between truth and lie is too blurred to be established by data, measurements and algorithms. And the fear is that those who decide to rely on a similar system to seek guilt or innocence will end up playing with people’s fate .
Modern polygraphs analyze heart rate, breathing, sweating and blood pressure, while EyeDetect entrusts its verdicts to dilation of the pupil and the speed with which the eye rotates during the crucial phases of the interrogations. The distinction between EyeDetect and the systems that preceded it was summarized as follows by Todd Mickelsen, CEO of Utah Converus:
Polygraph is based on emotion, EyeDetect is based on cognitive elements.
For experts instead there are no methods capable of recognizing truth and lies .
For too long men have been looking for ways to arrive at the truth, but in 100 years there has been no significant progress. I am not aware of any relationship between deception and eye movements – said Leonard Saxe, a psychologist at Brandeis University who has signed some of the leading truth seeking studies.
Of the same opinion the American Psychological Association, which clearly writes:
Most psychologists agree: there is little evidence that a polygraph can distinguish between truth from lies.
Yet the polygraph in the USA is widely used, so much so that a turnover is estimated to be close to two billion dollars . Three years ago a New Mexico track and field coach came on trial on charges of abusing
of a fourteen year old pupil. During the proceedings, his lawyer requested that EyeDetect’s verdict, according to which his client was sincere in denying the allegations, be taken into account. The judge accepts the request of the lawyer and with the contribution of the jury the accused is acquitted: a judicial error, it was said .