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Computer Spots Micro Clue to Lies

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Oxford University researchers are developing software that can recognize micro-expressions that appear when people lie.

These micro-expressions "can be used for lie detection and are actively used by trained officials at U.S. airports to detect suspicious behavior," says Oxford researcher Tomas Pfister.

The two major problems with trying to program a computer to recognize micro-expressions are that they are involuntary and they occur for only a fraction of a second. The researchers tried to solve the first problem by inducing micro-expressions in a group of volunteers. To overcome the problem of the limited number of frames, the researchers used a temporal interpolation method in which each micro-expression is interpolated, which makes it possible to detect the micro-expressions even with a standard camera.

"Our initial experiments do indicate that our approach can distinguish deceptive from truthful micro-expressions, but we will need to conduct further experiments to confirm this," Pfister says.

From University of Oxford
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