You Could Now Be Interviewed and Stopped by a Digital Border Patrol Agent — Seriously
Travelers entering the United States from Mexico through Nogales, Ariz., could face a new U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agent — a virtual one.
As part of the Trusted Traveler program the CBP’s electronic kiosk was created by a team at the University of Arizona to make border crossings more efficient, according to Scientific American. The kiosk will be capable of interviewing travelers and analyzing their responses, alerting human CBP officers if any exchanges seem suspect:
Anomaly detection is based on vocal characteristics—changes in factors such as rate, volume, pitch and intonation—that may be related to different emotional, arousal and cognitive states. An inflection in one’s voice may indicate uncertainty, or a pause might imply that an interviewee may have been devising a deceptive answer, Elkins says. The kiosk’s speech recognition software monitors the content of an interviewee’s answers and can flag a response indicating when, for example, a person acknowledges having a criminal record.
According to Scientific American, the virtual CBP officer was developed to handle a backlog of Trusted Traveler applicants, a program that provides expedited travel between the two countries for those who qualify.
Aaron Elkins with the University of Arizona’s Management Information Systems department said the kiosk cannot say whether the person it’s interviewing is lying or has malicious intent, but serves to alert human officers to investigate further for themselves. Elkins spoke more on this point to the Daily Beast in July:
“We instruct the officers that nowhere is deception ever indicated,” [said Elkins.] “But it gives them some of that feedback, things they would have observed if they had done the interview themselves.”
“We know now how to measure these different behaviors. We can get a good baseline of that person and a sense of when there’s something affecting them,” Elkins says. “(But) there are a lot of explanations for it. That’s why I don’t say ‘deception detection’ or ‘lie detection,’ because that is a very presumptuous thing to say.”
Fox News Latino reports the concerns of some privacy advocates regarding the technology:
“A lot of this is taking technology that is coming right out of research and implementing IT right on the ground,” said Lillie Coney, the associate director of The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), a Washington D.C.-based a public interest research center focusing on civil liberties and public privacy issues. “If we implement programs like this it becomes more likely that travelers from our country will be subjected to this when they travel abroad.”
The avatar kiosks have the potential to draw the same amount of criticism that the Department of Homeland Security’s Future Attribute Screening Technology (FAST) program has. The FAST program measures travelers’ pulse rate, skin temperature, breathing, facial expression, body movement, pupil dilation and other physiological and behavioral factors to determine their security risk.
“Anytime you try to automate a process around security, the major question is ‘is this an appropriate use of technology?’” Coney said.
The avatar kiosk in Nogales is currently in its pilot phase, which includes more than 1,000 interviews to be conducted with travelers.
Scientific American reports the university researchers developing and testing the kiosk for CBP said they eventually would like to add passport scanning capabilities or perhaps other sensors, such as eye trackers or infrared cameras.
(H/T: Popular Science)
Benghazi, IRS, AP...What's next? Only TheBlaze TV offers the truth from Glenn Beck, Andrew Wilkow, and Real News from TheBlaze. Get instant access and a free trial here.
- John McCain Lectures Tea Party Senator on How ‘Business’ Gets Done in Congress: ‘That’s What We’ve Been Doing for a Couple Hundred Years’ 555 Comments
- Boy Scouts of America Vote to Allow Gay Members 506 Comments
- Pope Francis’ Sermon Sparks Debate: ‘Even the Atheists’ Have Been Redeemed ‘With the Blood of Christ’ 481 Comments
- Obama Doesn’t Return Marine’s Salute, Shakes Hand Instead — Is This a Protocol Misstep? 334 Comments
- Piers Morgan Bans Dana Loesch From His Show Following Twitter Spat: ‘Show Some Bloody Respect’ 333 Comments
- Game-Changing Bombshell? There’s a Major Twist in the Story About a High School Student’s Lesbian Relationship With a Minor 224 Comments
- Is the Boy Scouts’ Gay Amendment the ‘Beginning of the End’ for the Group? (Plus: Tell Us Where You Stand) 231 Comments
- MSNBC Hosts Martin Bashir and Chris Hayes Claim London Machete Killers Aren’t Terrorists: ‘These Are Just Murderers’ 141 Comments
- Did You Catch the Possibly Policy-Changing Ft. Hood Reference in Obama’s Terror Speech? Read More
- Dem. Rep. Apologizes for Attending ‘Racist, Anti-Semitic and Homophobic’ Speech Read More
- Have You Had Scotch at a NJ TGI Friday’s Lately? You Might Have Been Drinking Rubbing Alcohol Read More
- Venezuelan President Blames Toilet Paper Shortage on the Rich Read More
- This Terrible Chart Shows the Change in Food Stamp Participation Over the Last 10 Years Read More
- Disney Makes Absolutely Mortifying Photoshop Mistake Read More
- Trey Gowdy at It Again — This Time with a Jack Bauer Reference! 117 Comments
- Lion Named ‘Bonedigger’ and Small Dog Make Most Unlikely Companions Read More
- Rocket Bike Sets Land Speed Record — and Uses a Fuel You Wouldn’t Expect Read More
- How 3D Printing Technology Created a Special Part for Baby’s Windpipe and Saved His Life Read More
- 6 Fascinating Spy Gadgets You’ll Probably Want (and Can Have) After Seeing Read More
- How Would a 3D-Printed Shotgun Slug Hold Up? Here’s the Test Read More
- NYC lawsuit alleging Favre sent racy texts settled
- Trucker bumps I-5 bridge, sees tragedy behind him
- Journalist and author Haynes Johnson dies at 81
- Report: Yahoo, pay-TV operators among Hulu bidders
- Principal recounts storm hitting Oklahoma school
- Toronto mayor denies he smokes crack cocaine
- McIlroy, Donald miss cut at BMW PGA Championship
- Ex-Guatemala president extradited to US