Your Phone Will Find You Out

Emotion-sensing smartphone technology will detect if we are being deceptive

By Rick Brinegar


When I have attempted to log on to certain websites I am sometime asked to answer questions about my personal life that I struggle to answer. It’s not that I don’t want to answer; it’s that I just can’t remember. The website is simply attempting to verify that I am who I say I am. But it’s hard to remember something like the details of a car loan I applied for ten years ago. It’s disturbing to realize that the website knows more about me than I know about myself.


Your smartphone may soon know more about you than you know about yourself. For example, new software will soon give your phone the ability to discern whether your intentions are honest, even though your may not even be aware that you are being deceptive.


The Washington Post reports on new smartphone facial recognition and emotion-analyzing technologies which can uncover our deceptions. Everyone who has a smartphone will have a lie-detector in the palm of his hand.


As far back as 2011 the Department of Homeland Security was developing pre-crime Future Attribute Screening Technology (FAST) to detect “mal intent.” Just think, in 2011, when  the FAST program was only in the preliminary stages of research, sensors could collect video images, audio recordings, and psychophysiological measurements, without a person’s knowledge, to determine if they planned to harm anyone or if they were sincere.


The Bible teaches a lot about sincerity. For example it says that the 144,000 faithful believers in Revelation 14:5 are “without guile.” What’s guile? Guile is an attempt to cover up or hide from the truth. The problem is, however, it doesn’t take very long before a person who is genuinely trying to be honest begins to recognize signs of his or her own dishonesty. The honest truth is that no one is perfectly honest.


Your may think it’s cool. But I feel uneasy when a machine knows more about me than I do. Even more so, I start to tremble a little when I realize that God knows more about me than I know about myself.