Originally posted by MARK PIESING 13 FEBRUARY 2013
“You do not have to say anything, but it may harm your defence if you do not mention, when questioned, something you later rely on in court. Anything you do say may be given in evidence.” We have all heard this 1,000 times yet we barely give a thought as to what may happen to all the recordings that the police make of their interviews. Or indeed to the somewhat more mundane equivalent: “This call may be recorded for training purposes.”
However, without your permission – or even your knowledge – your recorded voice may be about to play a key role in the race to fingerprint the human voice.
Fuelled by 9/11, spurred on by the advance of our digital society and made possible by raw computing power, the development of increasingly sophisticated automated speaker recognition systems (ASRS) are now bringing the prospect of a “voiceprint” enticingly close, threatening to make the skilled voice scientist redundant. These automated systems, already widely used by police and intelligence services on the Continent, can in as little as 15 minutes use a background population of voices to make a statistical judgement on the significance of any similarity or difference between the voice of the criminal and that of a suspect that could have taken a human 15 hours to complete.
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