Wired.com reports that researchers at Stanford University’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab have demonstrated that computers can exploit the “chameleon effect” phenomenon, but on an even greater scale than humans can achieve. Psychologists and salesmen have noticed that people are perceived as more honest and likeable if they subtly mimic the body language of the person whom they are speaking with. For the test, researchers strapped 69 volunteers into a virtual reality rig, and sat test subjects across from a “digital agent”-which was a computer-generated male or female. The agent was programmed to deliver a pitch advocating a university policy requiring students to carry ID on campus. The agent had moving lips and blinking eyes, however, the head movements on display weren’t random. In half of the sessions, the agent was told to mimic the subject’s movements, with a four-second delay. In the other half of tests, the agents used realistic, but unrelated movements recorded from earlier subjects. Only eight subjects detected the mimicry, and the remaining students reported liking the mimicking agent more than the recorded one…