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Software developed to tell if you're lying

If your cheeks don't twitch when you smile, no one will believe you

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Programmers from the University of Pittsburgh claim to have developed revolutionary new software, that can actually tell if you are lying. Based on a 20 year-old system, the program analyses facial movements using electronic markers and can tell if someone is trying to conceal an emotion. Genuine expressions are more complex than they seem, and when a person is trying to deceive they may not move all the muscles the real expression involves. For example, a real smile involves narrowing of eyes, raising cheeks and widening the mouth. Fakers will often miss the subtler movements and only smile with their mouths. The program is designed to pick up the tiny flashes of the true emotion that would pass too quickly to be seen by the naked eye. Not everyone is convinced of the system's merits. A spokesman for the American Polygraph Association said that as facial muscles could be controlled at will, they were too unreliable to be used in the detection of a crime. While that may be true it would be interesting if the program were installed on computers in the Houses of Parliament. ®

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