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Interpol's New Software Will Recognize Criminals by Their Voices


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Analyzing voices for identification purposes.

The International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) in Lyon, France is assessing software that analyzes samples of speech from phone calls or social media posts.

Credit: istockphoto

The International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) in Lyon, France is assessing software that matches samples of speech taken from phone calls or social media posts to voice recordings of criminals in a vast law enforcement database.

The SIIP (Speaker Identification Integrated Project) platform would use multiple speech analysis algorithms to filter voice samples by gender, age, language, and accent in an effort to increase voice data accuracy, reliability, and judicial admissibility.

The development team successfully field-tested the system twice last year, and a project review is slated for this June in Brussels.

The software adds new information to captured voice clips, identifying the speaker's age or accent.

Using algorithms lined up by software developers, the SIIP platform parses newly recorded voice samples through a processing chain built on open source architecture.

The software's video processing engine extracts the audio from an online video and formats it into uncompressed 16 kHz WAV files.

Security groups in the Netherlands and the U.K. studied the ethical concerns associated with the project, but it has drawn negative commentary from civil rights activists.

From IEEE Spectrum
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