How computers are getting better at detecting a liar

A group of researchers from the University of Michigan may have found a better way to detect whether you’re lying – and it’s not the polygraph test.

Using videos from high-stakes court cases, the researchers have built a lie-detecting software database that uses a person’s words and gestures to detect behavioral patterns that may be out of the norm. While the software is still being tested, it was 75 percent accurate in identifying a deceptive subject during testing. Humans were only 50 percent accurate in guessing.

The database for the software took typical “lying behavior” – individuals who moved their hands more, tried to sound more confident and looked their questioners in the eye were more likely to be lying – and was taught to recognize these patterns in humans. Using machine-learning techniques, the team trained the software on a set of 120 video clips from actual trials.