Nemesysco’s LVA Technology – Ghosts in the Noise

Oooh – via the ever vigilant Google Alerts system and the Daily Mail it would appear that old ‘friend’ has resurfaced wearing a new, and rather cheap-looking, suit…

Could voice analysis software give away lying CEOS?

Ah yes, we’re in questions to which the answer is ‘No’ country right from the outset.

Scandals such as Enron have cost investors billions – and revealed that current methods of defecting boardroom fraud are sorely lacking. Chief executives can’t simply be subjected to lie detector tests during investor calls. Often, the only method for looking into their affairs is auditors manually looking through accounts.

Well, yes, that’s what auditors are supposed to do…

More often still, their dishonesty only comes to light afterwards.

Read more »

Capita still peddling pseudoscience to local authorities

After last week’s Leveson splurge it’s time to get back to normal business and remind everyone what public interest journalism looks like via an old ‘friend’ of the Ministry that’s popped its head up above the parapet.

Benefit cheats to face lie detector tests Council leaders have introduced lie detector tests in a bid to catch benefit fraudsters who trick them out of thousands of pounds every year. The move has already helped anti-fraud officials catch nearly 4,000 fraudsters claiming council tax discounts and saved more than £1,400,000 in four months. The new hi-tech system – which analyses telephone calls from claimants for signs of stress in their voices – is being run by Southwark Council in south London. Council bosses have defended its… Read more »

Pseudoscience and the Domodedovo Bombing

If anyone’s unsure as I why I put so much time and effort into chasing down the evidence from the DWP’s failed trial of Nemesysco’s pseudoscientific ‘voice risk analysis’ system then the simple juxtaposition of these two articles should explain things very nicely:

Article 1 Domodedovo International Airport’s Clarifications on GK-1 Voice Profiling Technology Application – 14.04.2006 In response to some publications, where GK-1 multilevel voice analysis system that is being implemented in Domodedovo International Airport was erroneously referred to lie detector systems, press service of EAST LINE Group states that these systems cannot be treated as analogous. GK-1 that is being implemented by certified specialists of Domodedovo Aviation Security is based on the latest computer technologies and is… Read more »

Exposing the flaws in the DWP’s lie detector trials (1)

It’s been a while, but let’s return to the subject of the DWP’s trial of a so-called ‘voice risk analysis’ system and bring you all up to speed on what’s been happening since my last post on this particular subject. At the beginning of May, this year, I submitted requests to each of the twenty-four local authorities taking part in the second phase of the trial, asking for a range of information on the performance of their trial systems, including the information necessary to assess how effectively, or otherwise, these systems were working. Of these local authorities, six have failed to provide a response with the relevant statutory period of 20 working days, including two of the original first phase… Read more »

Purnell’s Lie Detector – How it actually ‘works’

Okay, its time for the third and final instalment of my investigation into the scientific evidence behind the DWP’s trial of Nemesysco’s ‘Layered Voice Analysis’ technology… …and in this episode I intend to blow the lid on the system complete and explain exactly how this scientifically invalid piece of junk software has managed to gull several insurance companies and, more recently, the DWP into thinking that it might actually work as its inventor claims. THE STORY SO FAR Based on the analysis of the original patent for this system conducted by Anders Eriksson and Francisco Lacerda, what we’ve already established is: 1. There is no known scientific theory that explains exactly how humans detect emotional content in speech and, certainly, no… Read more »

Purnell’s Lie Detector – Indecent Disclosures

In defiance of Denis Healey’s First Law of Holes, Nemesysco have stuck out a lengthy press release in an effort to defend their technology, one which, rather hilariously puts forward this specific criticism of the work of Professors Eriksson and Lacerda:

The article’s claims that our technology does not work and cannot work are based on assumptions made by Eriksson and Lacerda, selectively (as explained below) citing from only three published US research studies, while completely ignoring all the other studies that have been published in diverse scientific publications, or presented at conferences, many of which are available for review on our web site.

Quite how many of these studies the two Professors have reviewed I’m not certain, but I’ve… Read more »

Purnell’s Lie Detector – Following the Money

This is an expanded version of an article published at Liberal Conspiracy. The next stage of my detailed coverage of the scientific evidence behind the DWP’s current ‘lie detector’ trial will be along, as promised, in the next 24 hours but, in the meantime, I’ve received a reply to an FOIA request I put in around four weeks ago, asking for information about the financial side of the trial and, using that information we’re now going to follow the money and tell you exactly how much taxpayers’ money has been spent on the trial, to date, and exactly where this technology is being used to vet benefits claimants. And after that, we’ll tell you what we’ve uncovered about the contracts and… Read more »

Purnell’s Lie Detector – What the Guardian didn’t say.

One thing that those of us who’ve been working on the DWP Trial investigation discovered, only this week, is the we’re not alone in asking hard questions about the DWP’s trial. So, if you’ve read this week’s technology supplement then you’ll have already noticed that the Guardian has run an article on the technology behind the DWPs ‘lie detector’ trial, the same technology that I’ve been investigating for the last few weeks. You may also have picked up, from Sunny’s note at Lib Con, that we’ve had to jump into telling this story a little sooner than we’d hoped to, and the Guardian’s article is the reason why. That’s said, I’d recommend you read it as although it doesn’t go… Read more »

Purnell’s Lie Detector – The Scientific Evidence

Earlier this week, over at Liberal Conspiracy, I started to publish a comprehensive exposé of the DWP’s trial of a ‘voice risk analysis’ system on benefits claimants. To follow the story so far, you’ll need to read: Liberal Conspiracy briefing: Exposing the DWP’s lie detector testing, and LC briefing: Lie detectors – how it all started Due to legal issues relating to a key piece of evidence, a 2007 journal article by two Swedish academics, Anders Eriksson and Francisco Lacerda, I’ve decided to publish the briefings that deal primarily with the scientific issues and evidence relating to the DWP trial here at the Ministry, where I can take a few more risks and generally hang it all out there without… Read more »

The Charlatan and the DWP

A couple of months ago, myself and Alex Harrowell did a big of digging into the background of the company whose ‘voice risk analysis’ technology is being introduced by the DWP as a means of screening benefits claimants for the possibility that they may be committing fraud. (see here and here) As I recall, I think we more or less came to the conclusion that there was something altogether a bit dodgy in the whole exercise and that while there may be some moderately interesting, if limited, science behind the idea that you can identify when an individual is feeling stressed, the claims being made for the system that the DWP were bring in were unlikely to stand up to… Read more »