What does Wonder Woman have to do with the invention of the lie detector? Does refusing to yank a donkey’s tail make you a liar? Is it folly to believe that a machine can ever peer inside the human mind?
The invention of the lie detector is a strange story full of eccentric characters, fascinating true crime, and some incomplete science at its heart.
These days there are lie detectors based on artificial intelligence and MRI scans and detectors are used in policing across the world. But the fundamental problems at the heart of ‘lie detectors’ have not changed since they were invented a hundred years ago.
Our guest today is Amit Katwala, a senior writer at WIRED and author of Tremors in The Blood: Murder, Obsession, and the Birth of the Lie Detector.
This is the third episode in our mini-series about the invention of forensics. Next week is the fourth and final instalment – DNA Fingerprinting.
Produced by Freddy Chick
Editing and Sound Design by Anisha Deva
Executive Producer is Charlotte Long