Terrorism: July 5, 2002


Susumu Kobayashi, chief scientist for Cray Japan Inc., says it would be possible in the near term to harness the steadily increasing power of computers to analyze the voices of passengers and determine if any of them are lying, under stress, or being evasive. In theory, this could allow hijackers to be detected by their intent, rather than by suspicious items in their luggage. Assuming it could be done, this would speed up airports and improve security. While some doubt that the system would ever work (or if it would be practical due to a high rate of false positives as people nervous about airplanes rush to catch them when late) but Kobayashi says that these problems are not "insurmountable".--Stephen V Cole


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