Academic journals for high school students

Academic journals

Introducing academic journals for high school students

The Perfect Lie Detector: A Moral Hazard?

Jeff Kim
Choate Rosemary Hall


People lie all the time. It is frequently hard to determine whether a person is telling the truth or making something up without the assistance of other sources, such as lie detectors. Nonetheless, even this technology has severe flaws, as it is regulated by physical measures that may be manipulated to a certain extent by skilled individuals. In recent years, attempts have been made to evaluate a person’s emotions by analyzing physical variables that might increase the likelihood of detecting deception. These technical advancements include facial recognition, thermal facial imaging technologies, and mapping of the brain’s signals and inputs. These three technologies are considerably harder to deceive than a conventional polygraph. If a system that incorporates all three of these measurement tools could be developed, it would be feasible to catch liars with more precision than ever before. In various instances, such as criminal investigations and interrogations, this system would be invaluable. However, the introduction of any new system is inevitably accompanied by complications that may result in a false positive and, eventually, a wrongful conviction. In several U.S. states, the polygraph is not admissible in court proceedings due to its unreliability and the fact that its findings can be construed in a variety of ways; hence, it cannot be used as evidence. Consequently, this study will investigate the minimum level of accuracy such a system must possess to be accepted in court. In the case of flawed DNA evidence, for instance, it is a customary procedure to present the court with a random match chance of one in a billion between DNA loci. This level reduces the number of errors made while submitting DNA evidence to the court. However, a super-accurate lie detection system would cause innumerable moral quandaries and constitute a major invasion of privacy for both criminals and innocent people. For instance, the French data privacy company CNIL ordered Clearview A.I., a U.S.-based face recognition business that has gathered 10 billion photographs globally, to cease collecting and utilizing data from French citizens. The French argued that this was a violation of the European Union’s standards on data protection, emphasizing the morality of implementing face recognition technology. This research will look into the development of such a system and if its use is ethically acceptable.

Please click to read the paper.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email