Friday, 1 July 2011

Liar, liar, pants on fire

If you are picked out at airport immigration as an 'unwelcome' visitor, you'd better hope that it is not as a result of a video-based eye tracker or pulse detector.
An article in last week's New Scientist suggested that attention to human factors, particularly speech, are always more accurate in the detection of untruths, than any technology that might be employed.

A study by psychologist Aldert Vrij at at the University of Portsmouth has shown just how much less accurate lie detectors (machines) are, than lie detectors (people). This is worrying, given the huge amount of investment by Homeland Security agencies in malintent indicator technologies. What people say and how they say it, turns out to be a significantly better indicator of veracity than visual cues.

And so it is with other forms of knowledge transfer. Many organisations invest heavily in 'virtual collaboration spaces' and 'knowledge sharing technology' without thinking much about the human determinants of how, why and if we share what we know. I was pleased to see that in the Xerox Parc Slideshare presentation on 'Knowledge Work 2020', this was strongly acknowledged in their prediction for how technology will impact work 10 years hence:

I came across this presentation whilst researching the topic for the KIN Autumn Workshop (which is also KIN's 10th Anniversary celebration) 'Knowledge at Work: Futures and Options'. Click here to see the full line up of great presenters and activities. This event will run over two full days, 14th and 15th September, with the first day being open to both KIN Alumni, and non-member guests who meet our membership criteria and are interested in seeing what KIN has to offer.

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