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Eller College Home > Our Stories > Leading in a Global Market > AVATAR Kiosk Aims to Automate, Augment

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Leading in a Global Market : AVATAR Kiosk Aims to Automate, Augment Law Enforcement at International Borders

UA business minor students in Spain.
The AVATAR kiosk uses non-invasive artificial intelligence and sensor technologies developed by the Center for the Management of Information at the Eller College.

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December 2010

By Liz Warren-Pederson

New technology at the airport this holiday travel season has made the news, but a different approach is under investigation at the UA as part of the Department of Homeland Security-funded, 14-university BORDERS consortium.

“The problem of security is not going away,” said Doug Derrick, a fifth-year doctoral student in MIS. “It’s clear that we need some form of automation to accommodate increasing border traffic.”

Enter the AVATAR kiosk.

The kiosk is an interactive screening technology designed to be on the front lines of border crossings and airports. Individuals would approach the AVATAR kiosk, scan their identification, answer a few simple questions, and then move on. Meanwhile, the AVATAR kiosk has used non-invasive artificial intelligence and sensor technologies to gauge suspicious behavior.

Law enforcement would step in to work directly with individuals whose behavior has been flagged. “The goal is not to replace the person, but to augment law enforcement’s ability to detect deception,” said Derrick.

In its current, initial iteration, the AVATAR kiosk assesses cues through sensors in body movement, vocalics, pupillometry, and eye tracking.

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