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Eriksson & Lacerda 2007

Eriksson & Lacerda 2007

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Published by Charlatan's Nemesis
The on-line availability of this article was withdrawn by the publisher in response to threatened legal action by Nemesysco, an Israeli marketer of voice based lie detection technology that is criticized in the article. The authors find that voice based lie detectors marketed by Nemesysco and others do not work.

Abstract: A lie detector which can reveal lie and deception in some automatic and perfectly reliable way is an old idea we have often met with in science fiction books and comic strips. This is all very well. It is when machines claimed to be lie detectors appear in the context of criminal investigations or security applications that we need to be concerned. In the present paper we will describe two types of 'deception' or 'stress detectors' (euphemisms to refer to what quite clearly are known as ‘lie detectors’). Both types of detection are claimed to be based on voice analysis but we found no scientific evidence to support the manufacturers’ claims. Indeed, our review of scientific studies will show that these machines perform at chance level when tested for reliability. Given such results and the absence of scientific support for the underlying principles it is justified to view the use of these machines as charlatanry and we argue that there are serious ethical and security reasons to demand that responsible authorities and institutions should not get involved in such practices.
The on-line availability of this article was withdrawn by the publisher in response to threatened legal action by Nemesysco, an Israeli marketer of voice based lie detection technology that is criticized in the article. The authors find that voice based lie detectors marketed by Nemesysco and others do not work.

Abstract: A lie detector which can reveal lie and deception in some automatic and perfectly reliable way is an old idea we have often met with in science fiction books and comic strips. This is all very well. It is when machines claimed to be lie detectors appear in the context of criminal investigations or security applications that we need to be concerned. In the present paper we will describe two types of 'deception' or 'stress detectors' (euphemisms to refer to what quite clearly are known as ‘lie detectors’). Both types of detection are claimed to be based on voice analysis but we found no scientific evidence to support the manufacturers’ claims. Indeed, our review of scientific studies will show that these machines perform at chance level when tested for reliability. Given such results and the absence of scientific support for the underlying principles it is justified to view the use of these machines as charlatanry and we argue that there are serious ethical and security reasons to demand that responsible authorities and institutions should not get involved in such practices.

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IJSLL (print) issn 1748-8885IJSLL (online) issn 1748-8893
L
The International
Journal ofSpeech,Languageand the Law
d : ./j....IJSLL vol 14.2 2007169–193©2007, equinox publishing
Article
Charlatanry in orensic speech science:
A problem to be taken seriously
 Anders Eriksson and Francisco Lacerda
Abstract
 A lie detector which can reveal lie and deception in some automatic and perectly
reliable way is an old idea we have oen met with in science fction books and comic
strips. Tis is all very well. It is when machines claimed to be lie detectors appear 
in the context o criminal investigations or security applications that we need to be
concerned. In the present paper we will describe two types o ‘deception’ or ‘stress
detectors’ (euphemisms to reer to what quite clearly are known as ‘lie detectors’). Both
types o detection are claimed to be based on voice analysis but we ound no scientifc
evidence to support the manuacturers’ claims. Indeed, our review o scientifc studieswill show that these machines perorm at chance level when tested or reliability. Given
such results and the absence o scientifc support or the underlying principles it is justifed to view the use o these machines as charlatanry and we argue that thereare serious ethical and security reasons to demand that responsible authorities and institutions should not get involved in such practices.
keors: lie etetor, hrltnr, voie stress nlsis, pshologilstress evlutor, irotreor, lere voie nlsis, irportseurit
Afliations
Anders Eriksson: Gothenburg UniversityFrancisco Lacerda: Stockholm Universityemail:anders.eriksson@ling.gu.se
 
170 he interntionl ournl o speeh, lnguge n the l
Introduction
Caaa may b fd  a wa f f, cay  ac w  a by f ma my, ad fc c cc   xc.
e old disreputable voiceprint technique is still around and used by many 
a a   US  aca. I Gmay, a yc f
specialized in crystallography appears in courts claiming to have invented
a amac a c md bad  md bwd fm
crystallography but refusing to subject his methods to independent testing
 a xacy w  md  d  w.  a j wxam. I   a, w, w w m  dy f caaay   w m wdy d y f  cad ‘ dc’. W w xaw y w, wa c y a camd  b bad  ad w y a fmd w d f aby.I d b ad  away a a   m  md f ab
lie detection is known and it is not even known if it should be possible to
d c md   f.  a  a dc 
 ma camd  b w  dc. y d  away ca 
dc  dc   m mm k ‘ aayz’  ‘maayz’,  y k a w  d   dc  ca 
 q a  dc a wa y wa   b  dca. H a w qa  a wa w ma:
Diogenes
Da Vc S Aay aca, wa ay d dm am a dc  aw fcm ac. I wd day y may a  wd ‘ dc’  fc   yf cy, b  y f cy acay dc dc  ma c. (
Diogenes
Cmay m a
1
)Pfa   d f  dc w a    ‘’  dc-, a y   a d  f f a ca b mad. … Hw,LVA  caab f dc   bd  , ad by d  caad y  dfy ad a   f. (
Nemesysco
m a
2
)
In this paper we will not address the question of whether these productsshould properly be referred to as lie detectors, emotion detectors or decep-tion detectors, but we will use the term ‘lie detector’ when we refer to theseproducts. e focus of this paper will be on the discrepancies between theclaims the producers and vendors make and what their products are capableof delivering.
 
hrltnr in orensi speeh siene 171
Validity vs. reliability
 cc f ady ad aby a mc d  ycy, acad may  aa ad w wd    a y md  f a dc  d  w jd   dc.  a may df-f ac f ady wc  ycca ac ad ac aad d ab ( ady, a ady, c ady c.). W
d   ccd w  da,  may c  y -
 wa y a  cmm.  ady f a    d  wc 
ma wa   dd  ma. Ray    ad a  dw c ad ccy. Hw accay d  md ma wa
  dd  ma? Hw mc w   ay f  mama ad by a  ac  by  ac?T   dc  md a mdca mca. I m
reasonable, from a methodological point of view, to begin by determiningthe validity of a suggested method before it makes much sense to study its
aby. If  md ca b w  ac ady a  w a acqc a b ab ad cay  a aby  ma.
If the validity is not known it will be a ‘black box’ whose reliability, if any,
will remain unexplained. We must keep in mind, however, that validity and
aby a  a   cc. A md may b ad  a dad aby may a fm y   am fc. A  fa d f  a ca w d   ay. I wd b a cm wa f 
m  d m  dm w cy c may dc
f  w w w a  ady f  md  -x. A  d f  ca w d md  DNA  w ady 
is solidly supported by scientic evidence and whose reliability is extremely 
, ab  fc.
W c   dc (a w a , m  dc dc) a  w jd m     ady,  m m-
a q b: Ha  bac c  wc y a camd b bad b d  cc d? If w  bac a  y f  dc , w d a  q  dm ad ad  mdm dd.  a,    ad, c f aby  f 
‘black box’ type. We nd this rather surprising and quite unsatisfactory. We
wd k  a a  fd d f  d    am
 ady f  cd  ma  a  ad md a adad y w a a b abd cd  aby . fc  w f  b   aby  b  a a
dad aay f  cc d f  md, ..  ad-
ity. Based on these considerations we then explain why reliability tests have

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