Body-language expert Dr Harry Witchel from University of Sussex found that by measuring a person's movements as they use a computer, it is possible to judge their level of interest.

This can be done by monitoring whether they display the tiny movements that people usually constantly exhibit, known as non-instrumental movements.

The study, published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology, could have a significant impact on the development of artificial intelligence (AI).

In the study, 27 participants were faced with three-minute computer sessions that ranged from fascinating games to tedious readings from European Union (EU) banking regulations.

At the same time, video motion tracking technology was used to measure their movements.

For two comparable reading tasks, the one that was most engaging resulted in a 42 percent reduction in non-instrumental movement.


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