back to article Now Europe wants a four-million-quid AI-powered lie detector at border checkpoints

The EU is readying an AI-based screening system designed to catch travelers who lie about their reasons for visiting the Continent. The European Commission has thrown more than €4.5m (£4m, $5.1m) into iBorderCtrl, a self-described "intelligent control system" that analyzes answers given by travelers to a series of questions at …

  1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    the potential risk posed by the traveler will be recalculated

    After all that faffing around, he's probably quite annoyed...

    What's the betting the queue for the 'further checking' will be just as long as the queue at immigration normally is?

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: the potential risk posed by the traveler will be recalculated

      Nope they are not.

      Anger, denial, bargaining, acceptance - the 4 stages of dealing with death and a Hungarian checkpoint. Or in other words - welcome to hell.

      By the end of the first hour you are at anger, second - denial, third - bargaining (you are starting to look at ways to jump the queue and bargain your way through) and in the fourth hour you are clearly and definitely at "acceptance". The average wait at Horgos or Subbotica on Friday/Saturday/Sunday in summer is > 4h.

      I am willing to do a detour via Romania or even via places where you wish you were driving an armoured personnel carrier (ones UK companies refuse to give you an insurance for) to go around them.

      So, no, the punters will not be annoyed. They will be way past that.

      1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

        Re: the potential risk posed by the traveler will be recalculated

        Maybe - but I think this would be an easy system to pass though with a little preparation if you have the resources behind you to pre-test an operative before they walk through.

      2. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: the potential risk posed by the traveler will be recalculated

        @Voland's right hand

        places where you wish you were driving an armoured personnel carrier (ones UK companies refuse to give you an insurance for)

        ...I am sure there are UK companies who will sell you an armoured personnel carrier. You may also be lucky enough to get injured killed by a projectile manufactured in the UK - one must be thankful that it's not some rubbish ammo from from elsewhere.

        1. BillG Silver badge
          Mushroom

          Re: the potential risk posed by the traveler will be recalculated

          @Fruit and Nutcase wrote: ..I am sure there are UK companies who will sell you an armoured personnel carrier.

          Why bother when Amazon can deliver your tank for you!

          Amazon.com: JL421 Badonkadonk Land Cruiser/Tank

          From Amazon: "The JL421 Badonkadonk is a completely unique, extremely rare land vehicle and battle tank. Designed with versatility in mind, the Donk can transport cargo or a crew of five internally or on the roof, and can be piloted from within the armored shell or from an exposed standing position through the hatch, thanks to special one-way steel mesh armor windows and a control stick that pivots up and down to allow piloting from the standing or seated positions. The interior is fully carpeted and cozy, with accent lighting and room for up to five people. A 400 watt premium sound system with PA is mounted to project sound both into the cabin and outward from behind the windows. The exterior is a steel shell with a rust patina, and features head and tail lights, turn signal lights, trim lighting, underbody lighting, fixed slats protecting the windows, and a unique industrial-strength rubberized flexible skirt that shields and protects the wheels to within an inch of the ground, while still allowing for enough flex to give clearance over bumpy and uneven terrain. Master power, ignition, all lighting, and stereo features are controlled from a single switchboard to the left of the driver, again accessible from either the seated or standing position. Standard drive is an air-cooled, 6hp Tecumseh gasoline (unleaded only) engine, with centrifugal clutch, giving the Donk a top speed of 40 mph....Price does not include shipping and handling."

          As always, you should read the Amazon reviews first before purchasing.

          1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

            Re: the potential risk posed by the traveler will be recalculated

            @BillG

            "Why bother when Amazon can deliver your tank for you!

            Amazon.com: JL421 Badonkadonk Land Cruiser/Tank"

            ...6hp Tecumseh gasoline (unleaded only) engine, with centrifugal clutch"

            If it has a 6hp engine with a centrifugal clutch, it looks as if it is a bit of a toy. A Toyota Land Cruiser would be a much better bet - the vehicle of choice for insurgents the world over

          2. southen bastard

            Re: the potential risk posed by the traveler will be recalculated

            I regret to inform you that this great product is no longer available.

            the reviews are very positive, and there seems to be a lot of happy customers,

            i will be building a new improved model stay posted

        2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

          Re: the potential risk posed by the traveler will be recalculated

          .I am sure there are UK companies who will sell you an armoured personnel carrier.

          Last time I heard, UK military goods are not very welcome in Republica Srpska (that is the detour I had in mind). So I would rather stick to a second hand BTR-2.

          On a more serious note, the list of countries looks weird. I have not crossed a Baltic state border lately, but the other "testers" have issues which have nothing to do with "lie detector needed" on their border checkpoints. It is the last place I would test something like this.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: the potential risk posed by the traveler will be recalculated

            Really? Where were you for the last 6 weeks then?

  2. Ledswinger Silver badge

    £4m doesn't go far

    Especially spread across public sector procurement and teams split across nine countries, public, private and academic institutions. Which means either:

    1) It is a budget affair that will work as badly as any other state sponsored AI and facial recognition mess up (like the Metropolitan Police's failed facial recognition efforts)

    2) The EU are lying, and the real cost is much, much higher (and it still won't work)

    3) These costs are just for a web front end to a pre-existing AI/recognition system being sold by a large tech company like IBM, Amazon or Google (and it STILL won't work).

    1. Elmer Phud Silver badge

      Re: £4m doesn't go far

      Having problems here trying to work out exactly what is irking you,

      Local funding, EU funding or the cabal of 'big tech'.

      1. Ledswinger Silver badge

        Re: £4m doesn't go far

        Having problems here trying to work out exactly what is irking you,

        Nothing really, other than the foolish belief that this is going to work.

        My national share of the £4m is about 11%, say £400k, and that's a drop in the ocean against the waste of hundreds of billions by the UK government on unneeded projects like HS2 and Heathrow R3, or grossly over-expensive projects like Hinkley Point and the rest of the nuclear programme, the Great Renewable Energy Scam, any defence procurement project, or anything spent by the Home Office or DWP, all of Gordon Brown's PFI crimes, and most centralised IT ideas for the NHS.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: £4m doesn't go far

          (1) Define "waste of money".

          (2) Example of what is not a "waste of money"

          (3) Source of clairvoyance. "foolish belief that this is going to work"

          (4) Please ask source for the lotto numbers.

          Much appreciated.

          1. Smooth Newt Silver badge

            Re: £4m doesn't go far

            "(1) Define "waste of money".

            (2) Example of what is not a "waste of money"

            (3) Source of clairvoyance. "foolish belief that this is going to work"

            (4) Please ask source for the lotto numbers."

            For goodness sake, it's an underfunded project to achieve an unclear goal using uncertain technology.

            Previous attempts at this sort of thing have proved unsuccessful at best, and a public relations disaster at worst, and there is nothing in this project to suggest it will fare any better. How far do you think £4m split 13 ways goes.

            And I'm not sure it is even desirable - it is always a bad idea in the long run to build tools which can be trivially repurposed to suppress dissent - how do you think China, Saudi Arabia and your local police force will repurpose and abuse this if it worked?

            1. LOL123

              Re: £4m doesn't go far

              What makes you think this is for an actual system and not just for a proposal or feasiblity study?

              £4 million will go a long way to get a concept proposal out i.e. paperware.

              https://cordis.europa.eu/project/rcn/202703_en.html

              look at the cost splits - this is not for a production system, the headline is click and commetard bait.

              https://www.iborderctrl.eu/Publications

              What has been done with the money this far.

              People here are leaping to the assumption that the £4m is for a working field ready system.

              1. LOL123

                Re: £4m doesn't go far

                It might be just an integration project too:

                https://www.iborderctrl.eu/Related-Projects

                anyway the point being commenters(commentards?) here are leaping to this being the total spend on a production system.

                Epistemic arrogance?

      2. Daniel von Asmuth Bronze badge
        Coat

        £ 1 goes far enough

        You can take a coin, toss it towards the heavens and if it falls back onto the earth with its head up, the refugee may enter the Euil Empire, tails tell (s)he will be taken to the throne of Trump.

    2. jmch Silver badge

      Re: £4m doesn't go far

      Spend a little you get accused of not spending enough, spend a lot and you're accused of spending too much and wasting huge amounts of taxpayer money. Rather like a tabloid headlining a (usually black) footballer one day for shopping at Gregg's and the next day for spending 6 figures on a car.

      So what IS the 'correct' level of spending for this sort of project?

      Incidentally, "The EU has thrown 4.5 million at a project" is not the same as "4.5 million got spent on this project". It's quite likely that all the research universtities etc could have come up with some funding of their own, maybe also some private funding. Secondly, I don't think 5-10 million is too little for the research and prototype development stages especially if they use standard PCs/webcams and not any custom-made hardware.

      1. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: £4m doesn't go far

        "So what IS the 'correct' level of spending for this sort of project?"

        Without some sort of evidence that it has even a chance of working, the correct level is zero.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What are they going to train it with and what if lets say 30% are telling a small lie to gain entry anyway?

    What if they are a genuine refugee that made the mistake of trying to enter a hostile country first? Do they get turned away?

    Lie detectors are not 100% accurate and AI isn't going to change that.

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      I would vote for it if ...

      ... they use suitable training data. I propose recordings of TV interviews with politicians.

      1. Mongrel

        Re: I would vote for it if ...

        That's terrible training, you need a mix of lies and truth to teach it properly

        "lie...lie....lie...lie"

        "But you're not even looking at the screen anymore"

        "Don't need to"

    2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Language/Accent?

      And what if the questions are being asked in a language in which the perfectly legitimate traveller is not fluent, and is struggling to understand the question & formulate an acceptable answer from their limited vocabulary? Current speech recognition "AIs" have enough trouble with regional accents as it is.

      1. jmch Silver badge

        Re: Language/Accent?

        "And what if the questions are being asked in a language in which the perfectly legitimate traveller is not fluent, and is struggling to understand the question & formulate an acceptable answer from their limited vocabulary? "

        The article says the questions will be presented in the travellers' language. Not sure they will be able to accommodate all travellers in the case of some exotic languages... but then again if the system doesn't handle a language, what's teh chances that any of the border guards can communicate with that person anyway?

      2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Language/Accent?

        >a language in which the perfectly legitimate traveller is not fluent

        The system will ask the questions in English but in ALL-CAPS, the foreigners all speak English if you shout

      3. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: Language/Accent?

        You bet me to it, Phil. Let's also not forget that it took 90 minutes for the baggage to get unloaded so you can drag it through customs and there are no trollies on your side of the barrier. You are still trying to get blood to circulate through your lower body after being crammed in a seat too small to contain anybody larger than a 6 year old malnourished child from Bangladesh. You need both a toilet (functional) and your blood sugar has falling through the floor. Sod the AI, the examiner has the most impenetrable regional accent you have ever come across. The news is showing that another boat load of "refugees" have been welcomed ashore by the navy and they've been given a warm blanket and a hot meal as you are standing in an over-airconditioned room dying of hunger.

        I can easily visualize politicians believing that AI is the answer without every having defined what the problem is they are trying to solve. First define the problem and then train examiners properly. An AI isn't going to take into account that the flight the people came from just flew through major turbulence for the past 2 hours and drinks/meals couldn't be served and trips to the lav were limited and acrobatic, to say the least. It may not be able to adjust to people that are coming from many different parts of the world in random order.

        What happens when accusations are made that the AI is using "racial profiling"?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      What are they going to train it with?

      "Yes, I really am looking forward to this two-week beach holiday with the family..." :-)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What are they going to train it with?

        Just repeat "Two Weeks" (see image with this article)

        1. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Trollface

          Re: What are they going to train it with?

          how about "the caravans" currently traversing Mexico?

          just have it focus on the key words and tricky phrases they're taught by the coyote's and "advocate" lawyers. Some good "lie" examples there, at any rate.

          troll icon, because, obvious

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Polygraph Accuracy

      Indeed. The more comfortable the person is with telling a lie, the harder it is for it to be 'detected.' I have passed a poly myself, knowing the consequences were very undesirable (not quite severe) should I have failed. I did lie during the examination, and was not entirely troubled about it. Part of me lied to protect my secrets, which is why most liars lie to begin with I suspect, but a small part just wanted to see if I could defeat the machine. I'm extremely less impressed with anyone who can defeat such an exam, now that I have done it myself. I don't imagine many serious people trying to gain entry to a country to do ill would have difficulty during such a test.

      Anonymous for obvious reasons.

      1. JetSetJim Silver badge

        Re: Polygraph Accuracy

        I doubt the aim of this is to actually improve anything, merely to add to the layers of control.

        AI based polygraphs are going to be no better than a regular polygraph, and just adds to the theatre of security being put in place because we have to "think of the (illegal) immigrants", now that we're pulling up the European drawbridge and going all isolationist.

        We can't be British (aka English) if we let Johnny & Jane Foreigner in to dilute our National Integrity(TM)

        1. jmch Silver badge

          Re: Polygraph Accuracy

          "theatre of security being put in place because we have to "think of the (illegal) immigrants"

          incidentally this system will be used at legitimate crossings by people legitimately trying to enter the EU using a passport and possibly a visa application. The real illegal immigration is coming overland via Turkey or by boat to Spain / Italy / Malta / Greece

          1. dnicholas Bronze badge

            Re: Polygraph Accuracy

            ""theatre of security being put in place because we have to "think of the (illegal) immigrants"

            incidentally this system will be used at legitimate crossings by people legitimately trying to enter the EU using a passport and possibly a visa application. The real illegal immigration is coming overland via Turkey or by boat to Spain / Italy / Malta / Greece"

            People voted for Brexit on the back of worrying about illegal aliens. Never did it occur to them that illegals will come regardless of immigration law, that's their whole modus operandi...

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Polygraph Accuracy

          "We can't be British (aka English) if we let Johnny & Jane Foreigner in to dilute our National Integrity(TM)" nice idea but the evidence is against it.

          Anyone with wealth to spend here can come to the UK and stay if they bribe the right people, same as the other third world setups.

          Sadly having wealth has never prevent immigrants from being a danger to the UK however this is never taken into account since the people who control the setup are whores with morals that a snake would look down upon. The actual outcome of the new system will be that border control now have a "impartial" IT third party to back up their arbitrary exclusions.

          For the locals seeking to cross a border it just means that they can blame their failures upon the computer.

      2. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: Polygraph Accuracy

        The best way to pass a lie detector test is to avoid having to take it in the first place. If I'm planning on doing bad things in another country, I am also likely to not want to go through any sort of customs screening. Once you are in a country, it's far less likely that you will be caught having come in informally. I certainly don't want an entry stamp in my passport.

    5. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      "Lie detectors are not 100% accurate and AI isn't going to change that." - Over here in feraldom lie detectors are not admissable in court as evidence. So either the EU is allowing something on the order of reading goat entrails to make 'decisions' for them or they go back to the old fashioned way of actually doing real police type work.

    6. jmch Silver badge

      "Lie detectors are not 100% accurate and AI isn't going to change that."

      I don't think the purpose of the system is to be 100% accurate, and it doesn't look like it's being sold that way either.

    7. JohnFen Silver badge

      "Lie detectors are not 100% accurate"

      That's a serious understatement. Current lie detectors don't even beat chance.

    8. RedCardinal

      >>Lie detectors are not 100% accurate

      Never mind 100%, lie detectors are a completely discredited technology...

  4. handle bars

    Once in though you can go from country to country plotting what you like...

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      You're right. We need to clamp down on freedom of movement. We should section off each country and each region with each country into separate military districts and block all movement between them unless a citizen has the appropriate visa. It worked for Soviet Russia and it will work for us.

      1. cantankerous swineherd Silver badge

        sooner they stop those Lancastrians infiltrating via the woodhead pass tbe better.

        1. Rich 11 Silver badge

          sooner they stop those Lancastrians infiltrating via the woodhead pass tbe better.

          Comin' over eer wi' their black puddin' an' tryin' ter barter it fer a good fish supper...

    2. Elmer Phud Silver badge

      Already exists, both as 'diplomatic' travel and executive jets.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Makes nipping over for the day on a booze run sound like a bundle of laughs.

    1. Teiwaz Silver badge

      Makes nipping over for the day on a booze run sound like a bundle of laughs.

      I'd honestly not be surprised to hear that this whole project was a British idea originally, and they were sounding out whether the Europeans would kick up another fuss about them using it on UK daytrippers over that might be depriving the taxman over the matter of a couple of bottles of plonk and a month or twos supply of ciggies.

      1. codejunky Silver badge
        Facepalm

        @ Teiwaz

        "I'd honestly not be surprised to hear that this whole project was a British idea originally"

        Yeah because the EU dont have plenty of idiots and busybodies that it must be the brits. And I am sure once we leave they will no longer be in multiple self inflicted crises and suddenly even be competent enough to run a pissup in a brewery. Screw leavers expecting unicorns this is solid gold dreaming.

  6. melts

    You're in a desert, walking along in the sand, when all of a sudden...

    "You look down and you see a tortoise, Leon. It's crawling towards you."

    "You reach down and you flip the tortoise over on its back, Leon."

    "The tortoise lays on its back, its belly baking in the hot sun, beating its legs, trying to turn itself over but it can't, not without for your help. But you're not helping."

    "I mean you're not helping. Why is that Leon?"

    maybe they can use this question scenario...

    and I'm guessing you're in trouble if they ask you to say only good things you can think of about your mother

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: You're in a desert, walking along in the sand, when all of a sudden...

      Pedantically, wouldn't that require the *human* to be asking questions directed at the AI?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: You're in a desert, walking along in the sand, when all of a sudden...

        You still think Deckard was human.

        That's cute.

  7. Alister Silver badge

    fingerprinting, palm vein scanning and face matching

    ...and the anal probe, fecal sample, urine sample, saliva sample, blood sample, and one of your kidneys...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      At Acme industries, we have invented an exploding anal probe for detecting terrorists. It is so effective, it can detect people that are at the very early stages of becoming terrorists.

      It is 100% effective at preventing potential terrorists entering a country via entry points protected with the device.

      While the product is effective, it is messy and we are investigating ways of reducing the unwanted waste - Project Solyant Brown is looking very promising...

      Caution: this may result in a drop in tourism numbers but also reduces the demand for additional runways at airports which politicians (well, the ones that don't travel abroad...) will appreciate too.

      1. phuzz Silver badge
        Joke

        "via entry points protected with the device."

        Surely if it's an anal probe it's actually deployed in exit points?

    2. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

      @Alister; "...and the anal probe, fecal sample, urine sample, saliva sample, blood sample, and one of your kidneys..."

      If I'm in a hurry, can I just leave them my underpants?

      1. Alister Silver badge

        @Grunty McPugh

        It worries me that you might have both saliva and blood traces in your underpants - not to mention a kidney!

        Perhaps a visit to your physician is in order?

        :)

        1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

          @Alister

          It worries me that you might have both saliva and blood traces in your underpants - not to mention a kidney!

          It might be someone else's saliva? And those Farmers can be a real pain in the whatsit.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        The anal probe sounds about right as some people call them "aliens".

      3. cantankerous swineherd Silver badge

        if they've got one of your kidneys in it you're good to go.

    3. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Trollface

      "..and the anal probe, fecal sample, urine sample, saliva sample, blood sample, and one of your kidneys..."

      you forgot one.

      1. Alister Silver badge

        you forgot one.

        But that would be sexist...

        ;)

  8. rmason Silver badge

    Good luck!

    Good luck to the approx 1 in 4 people that suffer from depression or anxiety, or both, or similar. Those not particularly over the moon about returning home from a holiday, etc etc.

    What could go wrong?

    other than everyone when they use said 5 million pound algorithm to reduce staffing levels I mean.

    1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

      Re: Good luck!

      People with ASD who don't make eye contact. Or make too much eye contact.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Good luck!

        "People with ASD who don't make eye contact."

        My thoughts exactly. And having a child with high functioning ASD has helped me become aware that although there are extremes of the autism spectrum, a lot of people (including myself) probably sit on the spectrum somewhere and simply don't even know it.

      2. Spazturtle Silver badge

        Re: Good luck!

        It's become acceptable to discriminate against autistic people again so politicians won't care about that.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Good luck!

          >1 in 4 people that suffer from depression or anxiety, or both, or similar.

          They will automatically be detected as British and allowed in.

          Anyone showing signs of happiness, contentment and enthusiasm is obviously a foreigner (probably Australian) or weido (ie Australian) and will be blocked

          1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge
            Joke

            Re: Good luck!

            So it WILL keep out the criminal element then?

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Good luck!

            "They will automatically be detected as British and allowed in."

            ....until May may make Great Britain again and exit the continental communautarity.

          3. MachDiamond Silver badge

            Re: Good luck!

            "Anyone showing signs of happiness, contentment and enthusiasm is obviously a foreigner (probably Australian) or weido (ie Australian) and will be blocked"

            Full marks!

  9. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

    Dreaming of electronic sheep...

    So now border guards are going to be blade runners?

    In that case let me tell you about my mother....

    1. The Central Scrutinizer

      Re: Dreaming of electronic sheep...

      Here, have an origami crane... oops, too late....

  10. Warm Braw Silver badge

    If Britain goes through with Brexit...

    ... perhaps the denizens of MMU will be hoist by their own petard?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: If Britain goes through with Brexit...

      Majority of denizens of MMU are EU nationals, so for them it's more like a "fuck you too!" gesture :)

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    flag 'suspicious' reactions

    I hope they don't start lip-reading at airport security any time soon, those fuckers.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: flag 'suspicious' reactions

      Open the pod bay doors, HAL.

      HAL: I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that

  12. Voland's right hand Silver badge

    Yeah sure

    The EU says it is hoping to begin trials of the program soon at border crossing points in Hungary, Greece, and Latvia

    Greek Border checkpoint: "Avrio is manana without a sense of urgency". I cannot see them bothering to check what's on the terminal screen as they run their checkpoints JOINTLY with their counterparts from other countries, f.e Bulgaria. They also leave the other guy do all the work.

    Hungarian Border checkpoint: "Are you a Turk regardless of your stated passport nationality? Is your family name Turkish? Do you try to return a ham sandwich and ask for a cheese only version at service stations?". If the answers are all yes, you are up for a shake-down regardless of what the computer says. If the answers are no, the border guard waves you through with a bored face.

    By the way - I drive through BOTH of these more than once a year and I have done it for years. I do it via different ones too - both huge like Horgos/Rozke and small ones in the middle of nowhere like Makaba. So this is based on statistically significant set of observations. The case with that reporter which was kicking refugees is not unique (as their high court decision on it goes to prove).

    1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      Re: Yeah sure

      "Avrio is manana without a sense of urgency"

      And Metavrio is the day after that...

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    flag 'suspicious' reactions

    first they came for suspicious reactions at the border...

    1. Iain 14
      Facepalm

      Re: flag 'suspicious' reactions

      "travelers will also be asked questions by a computer animated "border guard" that is localized to the traveler's language and ethnicity"

      Well, they say that, but I can't help wondering just how localized they will be in practise.

      One example from within the EU that springs to mind is Bulgaria, where even basic reactions like nodding your head don't always mean what you'd normally assume they mean...

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I thought I'd never live to see something like this...

    uncanny, how this scene reminds me of an airport lounge...

    youtube.com/watch?v=flLoSxd2nNY

  15. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

    IPS

    I travelled shortly after the automated passport scanners were deployed, and the experience was a bit crap. It failed to scan one friend's passport completely, so he had to join the queue for a regular inspection. Another friend was wearing a beanie (we were going snowboarding) so he had to remove that so his features could be scanned, he'd forgotten his shades were over the beanie, they went flying into the booth, so he bent down to pick them up, at which point the glass doors closed on his head. My passport scanned, I entered the booth area, and then didn't know what to do, as the screen hadn't popped up any instructions, being a bit slow.

    So I'm a little skeptical some AI driven system is going to perform well enough to not annoy passengers.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge
      Coat

      Well it must be said that border patrol has never been there for passenger convenience.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Politicians

    Politicians - a more suspicious group of people you could not hope to meet, furtive glances, refusing to directly respond to questions......

    Obviously you wouldn't want to block this group of "dedicated, elected members".

    So a whitelist held somewhere in the system? or a card that the individual could carry?

    So how does a real bad person fake entry to the whitelist or get hold of a card ?

  17. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Well, if flagged travelers didn't have EU-related mayhem in mind before their selection

    They probably will after getting strip-searched by the EU border rubber glove brigade!

  18. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    Terminator

    Once they've

    got this working well enough (IE getting less than 90% false positives)

    Its time for the next stage... replacing the border guards with automated border drones

    "Drop the purple donkey... you have 20 seconds to comply"

    "Drop the purple donkey or you will face lethal force.. you have 10 seconds to comply"

    "Drop the purple donkey or you will be shot.. you have 5 seconds to comply"

    "Non-compliance with order , you have been shot....... please enjoy the rest of your visit to the EU"

  19. James 51 Silver badge
    Big Brother

    What happens if you have botox? Or neuropathy?

    Anyone who 'invents' this kind of technology should have to read what Cory Doctorow had to say about a superfu detector.

    1. MachDiamond Silver badge

      "What happens if you have botox? Or neuropathy?"

      Kim Kardashian is almost universally recognized around the world.

  20. spold Bronze badge
    Paris Hilton

    AI...

    Cmon for all the b€€lions this puppy is going to cost it's going to have some freaking fantastic AI abilities.... something like:

    1. Determine entrant's claimed nationality

    2. Present a variety of national food dishes to entrant

    3. Recognise when entrant smiles at one

    4. Compare claimed nationality to dish nationality - Bingo! (or not)

    OK I could just train a hamster to do this but it wouldn't have a sexy AI tag giving it the cheap-at-half-the-price sticker - before tax and overruns of course (include virtual reality and/or blockchain and you could easily justify triple the cost )...

    [Paris - this is going to be one expensive pussy]

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: AI...

      national food dishes:

      so for the UK a tandoori chicken or doner kebab

      for the Dutch babi panggang and kip satay

      1. Alister Silver badge

        Re: AI...

        so for the UK a tandoori chicken

        No, no, no, it's chicken tikka masala, isn't it?

  21. mark l 2 Silver badge
    Joke

    I wish to visit your country to see a cathedral and its 132 metre spire.

  22. Anonymous Coward
  23. Joe Harrison Silver badge

    I'm feeling animated already

    a computer animated "border guard" that is localized to the traveler's language and ethnicity

    (formerly known as "Clippy")

  24. Herring`

    Lie detectors

    The thing is, due to the media, a lot of the public seem to believe that such a thing as a lie detector exists. So a lot of people will believe that something like this could actually work - presumably including the people who stumped up the cash.

  25. MAF

    Electric sheep

    Separate queue for suspected replicants?

  26. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    I hope it was a good lunch.

    Looks like some politician or senior EU civil servant has been entertained to a very boozy lunch with a snake-oil salesman.

  27. DCFusor Silver badge

    Two weeks!

    Am I the only one here to recognize that picture of Arnold S in disguise at the Mars entry point in Total Recall?

    for those who didn't see it, the head blows up after a glitch in its own AI gets stuck saying "two weeks" in response to the question of how long a stay is expected.

  28. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    British implementation

    What is your name ?

    What is your Quest?

    What is the airspeed velocity of a fully laden swallow ?

    1. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

      Re: British implementation

      African or european?

      1. Alister Silver badge

        Re: British implementation

        Boris, you were set up for that one...

        1. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

          Re: British implementation

          I know.... but given my experience of immigration officials... I can quite easily see the post brexit officials asking those questions in order to prove that you are indeed , a citizen of the UK.

  29. Andy The Hat Silver badge

    I'm setting up a business

    I will sell a guaranteed defeat to this system ...

    "that analyzes answers given by travelers to a series of questions at border checkpoints, and their facial expressions..."

    It involves having a few Botox jabs called "Detector Defeat Therapy" (if it's got a poisonous acronym it'll encourage more rich idiots to have it injected into their faces). As can been by watching any TV involving Hollywood 'people', the face moves as much as a damn plastic manikin so won't set off a detector unless it's so hot the face melts ...

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ugh.

    As an American, all I can ask is that you quit following our government's most fucktarded notions.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I am pleased to see

    that snake oil salesmen are well and alive.

    (not so pleased to see where my tax money goes)

  32. scrubber

    A light detector?

    http://weknowmemes.com/2013/07/airport-security-check-color-chart/

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    HOW much?

    Has anybody come up with the usual: "What could possibly go wrong?"....................!!!!!!!

  34. JohnFen Silver badge

    Someone invented a working lie detector??

    Since up to now, nobody has managed to invent such a thing that actually works, I would have expected this to be headline news! That it's not makes me suspect that this is just as much bullshit voodoo as the polygraph.

  35. earl grey Silver badge
    Trollface

    I'm sorry Dave

    You shall not pass.

  36. ecofeco Silver badge

    That's some damn expensive bollocks!

    Now seems to be a good time be selling bollocks!

  37. RunawayLoop

    I see the future

    2018: "fingerprinting, palm vein scanning and face matching have been carried out"

    2020: gait, eye movement and behavioural characterstics have been carried out

    2022: posture, DNA recognition and anal resiliency have been carried out

    2024: brain pattern, genital fingerprinting and IQ testing have been carried out

    FFS when will this sh!t end???

  38. I&I

    “Self described” ?

    Now we’re getiing into proper AI

    (providing it did it from feeling)

  39. Handle123456

    If you come with a passport

    you will be scrutinized, questioned and have your holes prodded. If you come without, you can go right in and request accommodation and money.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The really big, underlying problem

    For all those technology and privicy issues this project raises, another major problem is that those universities involved in the project should also draw on their Psychology Departments to find out what we know -- or actually don't know -- about emotions and bodily expressions.

    There has for nearly 130 years existed three different schools for what emotions and their foundation and expressions are. Major problems still do exist - or to put it another way: The whole field is a giant mess! To believe that there are fixed facial expressions related to some distinct emotions that you just can read off, shows a poor understanding of the many problems rased in this subject.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Emotions???

    As for all the big technology and privacy issues - a major problem is also that there is no unified and agreed upon theory of what emotions are, and how they are ellicited and expressed in humans. Three different schools have existed for more than 130 years, and I doubt the're going to merge tomorrow....

    The whole field of Psychology of Emotions is such a mess that important voices recommend we now move back to nearly square one for a coordinated restart of the research. To believe that there are some fixed facials expressions corresponding to some specific emotions is very unsofisticated thinking.

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