Monday, October 22, 2007

Psychology, Technology, Lies and Videotape

HCI and the war on terrorism ...

"The skill of cognitive and forensic psychologists, communications monitoring experts and information analysts, is being combined in an extensive research project into the forms of deception potentially associated with terrorism in public places.

BEHAVIOUR AS EVIDENCE
The D-Scent Project, led by Professor Tom Ormerod of Lancaster University, has received funding from the UK Research Councils to investigate whether deception can be identified reliably from suspects' movements, communications and behaviours. "The extreme risks and rapid time frames associated with terrorist activities add to the difficulty of gathering evidence that might prevent an attack or lead to successful prosecution," said Professor Ormerod. "It is vital that the police and security services are provided with tools that help them make reliable decisions about who to treat as a suspect and whether there is sufficient evidence to secure a prosecution, since immense damage can be caused by wrongful arrests based on misinterpretations of weak evidence."

D-Scent will provide a proof of concept and system capability that shows how deceptions can be identified and investigated in public settings, using 'scent trails' gathered from diverse data sources. By using a location-based gaming environment, it will suggest new ways of integrating geospatial, communications and behavioural data to assemble scent trails of individual and group activities over time in physical space. The data will also be used to develop novel algorithms for deriving inferences that provide 'true positive' and 'false positive' instances to test deceptions, which can be used to confront individuals during games and to challenge accounts of their behaviour during post-game interviews.

HCI MEETS FORENSICS
One branch of the research will use methods from AI, systems theory and linguistics to strengthen the assertion that if someone has done action X, then they are likely to do action Y. A user-friendly interface to this schema will be developed in conjunction with Lancaster, which offers specialist expertise in human-computer interaction and will enable the resulting analysis to be presented in a meaningful way to those who are not familiar with the underlying guava."    (Continued via Usability News)    [Usability Resources]

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