Amid the media furor over the attempted Christmas Day attacks and a renewed political focus on enhancing airport security, attention is turning to a technological advancement that will have civil rights activists — or, for that matter, anyone with a secret –seriously worried: Mind-reading machines.
“As far-fetched as that sounds, systems that aim to get inside an evildoer’s head are among the proposals floated by security experts thinking beyond the X-ray machines and metal detectors used on millions of passengers and bags each year,” AP’s Michael Tarm reports.
Tarm focuses on an Israeli company called WeCU Technologies (as in “we see you”), which is building a system that would turn airport waiting areas into arenas for Pavlovian behavioral tests:
The system … projects images onto airport screens, such as symbols associated with a certain terrorist group or some other image only a would-be terrorist would recognize, company CEO Ehud Givon said.
The logic is that people can’t help reacting, even if only subtly, to familiar images that suddenly appear in unfamiliar places. If you strolled through an airport and saw a picture of your mother, Givon explained, you couldn’t help but respond.