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Russian Spartan 300 Uses Paul Ekman's Findings To Detect Deviant Behaviour
October 29, 2012 13:18

Paul Ekman

The Russian company "Complex Security Technologies" has recently presented a program "Spartan 300" allowing to detect people with deviant behaviour in the crowd.

The system was presented in 2011 as a "programmed complex to detect individuals who may require inspection procedures against them".

The system functions, as follows:

1) a CCTV camera captures the footage in which the system can recognise individual faces;

2) the system then analyses the faces for an "affected psychological or physical condition". A special neuronic net is used which was discovered and elaborated by Prof. Paul Ekman, an American psychologist famous for his research into lying and other deviant behaviour patterns.  

Prof. Ekman researched and catalogued facial expressions, body movements and speech patterns to which he also assigned meanings. Although he initially studied the facial expressions of the New Guinea tribesmen, he has since proved that there was a universality to human reactions, regardless of temporal or locale characteristics. He subsequently worked with various security organisations in the U.S., particularly teaching them to recognise people "under emotional duress or trying to deceive". His research eventually became the basis of the Fox crime series, "Lie to me", with the British actor Tim Roth as the lead. 

3) Prof. Ekman's findings have been used by the Russian specialists to feed their own neuronic net with data. A person operating the system sees the "normal" faces enframed in green, which "abnormal" faces appear in a red frame. This is regarded as an universal automated control system for passengers. 

Attempts to analyse the crowd flow date back at least to 2006 when first experiments were carried out on airport passengers and shopping centre visitors. "Spartan 300" is therefore not the only system that attempts to put a frame of potentially dangerous faces in the crowd. SPOT project, also based on Ekman's research, was initiated in 2007, financed by the DAPRA. The project was tracking deviant behaviour in the airports, however, the feedback remains ambivalent: understanding why a person looks suspicious remains a guesswork even according to Prof. Ekman's system, and his thesis of the universality in expressions has also been criticised. 

Author: Julia Shuvalova

Tags: Russian science Russian psychology Russian technology   

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