Best Use of Computers to Terrify Visitors to Our State - 2012
Automated Virtual Agent for Truth Assessments in Real-Time
Arizona's recent laws concerning immigration certainly have made some people think twice about visiting our state. And now we have finally reached the stage where we can automate the process of scaring visitors away.The AVATAR, or Automated Virtual Agent for Truth Assessments in Real-Time, is a machine that looks like an ATM as envisioned by Kafka. AVATAR has two screens: One projects the head of an ethnically neutral male and the second features a touchscreen that lets users interact with the machine. Behind the scenes, it has a suite of sensors that measure respiration rate, skin temperature, pupil dilation, and a host of other factors. Using the data it collects screening border crossers, AVATAR should be able to flag suspicious behavior for further investigation by flesh and blood border agents. Conveniently, AVATAR is bilingual and capable of recognizing and understanding normal human speech. The upshot of AVATAR is that, theoretically, the machine is an objective judge of suspicious actions and thus impervious to politically uncomfortable charges of racial profiling. This system currently is being field-tested at the busy Nogales border crossing, so make your travel plans accordingly.