Kiwi research into a futuristic version of the lie detector, which reads a person’s brainwaves, could make it literally impossible for criminals to hide their thoughts from police.
That’s according to research led by the University of Canterbury and backed by the NZ Law Foundation in which the technology was put through a year long pilot study aimed at making it ready for use by local police.
Known as brain fingerprinting or forensic brainwave analysis, it measures involuntary responses in the brain to reveal whether a person recognises information they have just seen or heard.
With a reported 96-99 per cent accuracy level from tests so far, researchers say the technology could be used in criminal investigations, civil law suits, employment disputes, counter-terrorism and drug enforcement.
Yet, despite its “exciting” potential, there is still more work needed in New Zealand to make it useful, project co-leader Professor Robin Palmer said on Thursday.
“The experiment results provide a solid platform for further research into the goal of applying it in police investigations and the New Zealand legal system,” he said.
The technology has already been used successfully in tests and court cases in the United States to help prove both guilt and innocence and is difficult to manipulate, researchers said.
Having spent some time with the justice system over recent years, it has become clear to me that written documents and verbal testimony are frequently outright lies. But those lies are allowed to stand as fact because they go unchallenged.
It would certainly cause a total overhaul of the legal system if these machines were applied to people who provide evidence.
96% is of course all a good lawyer needs to sow doubt. The machine may corroborate other evidence, but if it contradicts other evidence, then it isn’t superior. This would be similar to DNA testing, where there is a percentage confidence rating that the DNA came from the accused. It won’t be enough to convict by itself, but when taken with other evidence, the likelihood it was someone else becomes fairly small.
– NZN via Yahoo! News
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