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TED Talk: OISE professor Kang Lee’s new technology reveals hidden emotion, lies

Dr. Lee says technology can be used in education, health care – even dating

Imagine you could tell if students in your classroom were stressed, bored, or having trouble with your lesson? Or how about, if your date really likes you?

Dr. Kang Lee, a professor at OISE’s Jackman Institute of Child Study at the University of Toronto, has developed a technology that can answer these questions.

It’s all featured in a TED Talk released May 13 which highlights Dr. Lee’s research on lying, specifically in children, and his new emotion-revealing technology.

Dr. Lee has been studying the science of lying for 20 years.

In his TED Talk, which took place in Vancouver in February of this year, he showcases a new summary of his research that continues to demonstrate that not only do children lie, they do so by the age of 3.

His studies also show that the small percentage of kids who don’t tell the truth are the ones to be concerned with.

Importantly, Dr. Lee’s TED Talk also sheds light – for the first time – on his new technology which reveals hidden human emotion.


Technology can reveal politician’s lies

In addition to education and dating, Dr. Lee also says the technology can be used to detect anxiety, whether or not a politician is lying, or if someone is responding positively or negatively to a product.

The technology works with a video camera found in most cell phones, tablets and computer devices. It is non-evasive, inexpensive and can be used remotely.

“In terms of lie detection, with this technology, because it can be used remotely, it can also be used covertly, so we could use it at the border or at the police station,” he said.


Detect heart rate via Skype

The technology could also offer benefits related to health care. To illustrate, Dr. Lee said, for example, someone using Skype with an elderly parent could detect his or her heart rate, breathing, stress level and possibly his or her level of pain.

Just as potential benefits of the technology quickly add up, Dr. Lee also recognizes that revealing hidden emotion could have major implications.

“It could change the way humans interact with each other. We need to have discussion about the ways in which this can and should be used in the future,” he said.

The product is not yet available to consumers, but Dr. Lee is working with Nuralogix, a Toronto-based startup company, to bring it to market.


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