Saturday, November 1, 2014

Lie Detector Could Help Stop Doping in Sports

They say a picture is worth a thousand words—and researchers have found a video can be worth even more. A recent article talks about research that was conducted using videos of Lance Armstrong where he denied doping, as well as the video where he finally confessed, taken from the Oprah Winfrey interview (see confession clip below). Researchers put the videos through a lie detector program to see the results.

The videos passed through the lie detector computer program and “revealed consistent patterns of behavior.” When Armstrong lied and denied allegations of doping, the computer detected patterns and revealed that Armstrong was lying. “Among the few, subtle patterns that Armstrong unwittingly repeated when lying were shaking his head, blinking and pressing his lips together.” When Armstrong confessed, the computer did not detect these same patterns.

Researchers hope that this new lie detecting technology will prevent athletes from doping or detect those who are doping. The challenge that this and most controls designed to prevent or detect fraud face is that dedicated dopers will find the weak spots of the lie detector and they will learn ways to avoid detection. 

Staying one step ahead of the fraudsters is the continual challenge faced by those fighting fraud. Hopefully, this tool can be developed to help keep doping athletes at bay for a while...

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