No More Lies! Researchers to Launch AI-Based Online Polygraph Platform


Just imagine that you could spot lies about your Tinder date before you invest yourself in any relation! Now you can use AI-based online polygraph platform.

Some people are pathological liars, and some got absolutely no poker face. However, the online era has given everyone a golden chance of hiding their true personality behind a keyboard. Today, the bios of Tinder are just mirage, chats on Facebook messengers are scripted, and Twitter posts are designed to magnetize likes and retweets. In fact, millions of people have their identity stolen every year. However, there is not a way to suss out frauds and liars online with a mere click.

It is extremely tough to judge someone’s personality even after several face-to-face conversations where we can observe their body language, facial expression, and tone of voice. And it gets tougher to spot liars in computer conversations where we could only see a blind screen that shows typing…

Shuyuan Ho, a researcher at Florida State University, has taken it upon her hands to spot online liars by creating a novel online polygraph. According to Ho, the applications of such technology are limitless in the electronic world as it could differentiate between truthtellers and liars based on what they write in messages. Her research deals with the depth of internet deception including identity theft, trolling, and people fishing for credit/debit card numbers.  

The study is recently published along with the detailed findings of her online game that measures deceptive and truthful communications between two people. Ho studied the words used in the conversations to extract context from millions of bits of data in several messages, hoping to pinpoint some cues that could indicate whether someone is lying or telling truth.

Ho stated, “My research of online polygraph could be used in several different ways, including online dating apps, Twitter, and Facebook. Moreover, I believe that the future is unlimited for an online polygraph system”.

Ho created an online game to extract language cues that could separate liars from truthtellers. The game randomly allocated players to play the role of “The Sinner” and “The Saint”. When sinners interact with saints, researchers analyzed such conversations and used artificial intelligence technology to detect a pattern of words and writing. As per Ho, the results were fascinating as the lying sinners observed to be less expressive and included more decorative words in their sentences. They portrayed more negative emotions as well as were more anxious while communicating with truthtellers.

Ironically, the deceivers often used words such as “always” and “never” and the truthtellers used the words manifesting uncertainty such as “guess” and “perhaps” and took longer time to respond. Moreover, truthtellers tend to say “no” more often as there usually is another true reason behind their reasoning. Researchers also analyzed time lags between two sentences to observe how much a person pauses during an interaction.

Such online platforms have offered us a great chance at spotting liars when we meet a lot of strangers very fast. We have developed a good sense of recognizing cues a person while they talk and how to use hand gestures. However, in the world of online dating, these cues fail, and such AI-powered polygraphs could help society immensely.