Technologies measuring the human body are increasingly used in order to verify or falsify truth claims of a person. The panel seeks to discuss questions regarding the technological measurement of truth, its social framing and societal, ethical, and legal implications.
To distinguish between truth and lie is a key aspect of social life and highly relevant in different domains such as court trials, border controls, immigration procedures, or public hearings. In recent years, technologies measuring the human body are increasingly used in order to verify or falsify truth claims of a person e.g. through credibility assessment, lie detection, DNA family tests, linguistic analysis, or age assessments. These truth verification approaches often rely on biometrical but also other technological measurements collecting physiological, auditory or behavioural data. The panel seeks to provide a forum to discuss questions regarding the technological measurement of truth, its social framing and societal, ethical, and legal implications. It seeks to map out different technological truth assessments in a comparative, historically and philosophically informed way and addresses questions such as: Which desires, theories and beliefs are inscribed in these technological systems? What kind of sociotechnical imaginaries can be extrapolated? How relevant is use of algorithms and 'big data' for these assessments? What role do classic inscriptions of neutrality, mechanical objectivity and scientific authority play in the differing practice settings, especially when it comes to the legitimation of new procedures? How do new technologies such as genetic tests or neuroscientific assessments relate to more traditional truth assessments such as blood analysis, or polygraph tests? The panel also invites papers which look at the non-knowledge that is produced in the course of truth measurements.