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A Utah company says it's revolutionized truth-telling technology. Experts are highly skeptical.

In 2018, John Rael, a volunteer track coach in Taos, N.M., was on trial for allegedly raping a 14-year-old girl when his lawyer made an unusual request. He wanted the judge to admit evidence from "EyeDetect," a lie-detection test based on eye movements that Rael had passed. The judge agreed, and five of the 12 jurors wound up voting not to convict. A mistrial was declared.

A promotional image from Converus, maker of EyeDetect, showing its eye-capture measurements. The device can revolutionize truth-detection, according to its maker. Experts aren't convinced. Foto: Converus

EyeDetect is the product of the Utah company Converus. "Imagine if you could exonerate the innocent and identify the liars . . . just by looking into their eyes," the company's YouTube channel promises. "Well, now you can!" Its chief executive, Todd Mickelsen, says they've built a better truth-detection mousetrap; he believes eye movements reflect their bearer far better than the much older and mostly discredited polygraph.

Its critics, however, say the EyeDetect is just the polygraph in more algorithmic clothing. The machine is fundamentally unable to deliver on its claims, they argue, because human truth-telling is too subtle for any data set...

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