Through iBorderCtrl, multiple novel digital technologies were evaluated for their application in land border monitoring and control. Outcomes were assessed through a multi-dimensional assessment approach that considered aspects such as efficacy, accuracy, robustness, as well as potential ethical implications and public expectations. Most of the technologies tested proved to be successful candidates for future systems; these included technologies related to biometrics that improve the accuracy of identification relying on existing data embedded in passport, enhanced document verification that supports authentication of documents, rule based assessment of the various border control steps and processes, artificial-intelligence-based analytics. Further aspects involved the real-time monitoring of patterns and trends in border crossing behaviour, both to support the more efficient allocation of resources, and help identify attempts at fraudulent crossings, as well as the development of hidden human detection tools for vehicles, and wearables coupled with protocols that enable the efficient deployment of all these technologies in the field.
In the event, the iBorderCtrl approach, and its research focus at the crossroads of two challenging and controversial fields, namely border control and artificial intelligence, provoked a considerable amount of public interest and debate. This resulted in it becoming one of the most heavily followed, and media-disseminated Horizon 2020 projects with over 900 articles revealed by a news article search. iBorderCtrl has thus helped to initiate a discussion on what technologies can be ethically used to assist checks at the border what safeguards shall be implemented, so as to be accepted by citizens in a democratic society, as well as how accurate these technologies can potentially be in this task. The results of the evaluation revealed that novel technologies can have a significant impact on improving the efficacy, accuracy, speed, while reducing the cost of border control; however, they may imply risks for fundamental human rights, which need to be further researched and mitigated before a concept goes live. AI is still in the starting phase, and in researching the application of such technology, iBorderCtrl encountered many issues, mainly the ones that apply to AI in general and so go beyond iBorderCtrl. At the same time, it is an indisputable fact that interdisciplinary research is required to tackle these issues and therefore allow for a better mitigation of risks, as well as a public debate so as to decide on the general approach that society wants to follow in terms of AI applications in people's daily lives.