Germany Will Use Speech Analysis For Verification Of Refugees

Germany is looking to streamline the process for granting asylum to the refugees. They will use the speech analysis software to determine their origin. Like other European countries, Germany is also dealing with a massive influx of refugees from other nations. Everyone is looking for asylum, and most of them lack proper paperwork.

It is almost impossible for the officials to verify the origin of the refugees accurately. Thus, they will use the speech analysis software to determine the origin of the refugees. Yes, dialect analysis is also a solution for this problem. Germany is using linguistic experts for more than 20 years. But it will need a lot of time and high-level knowledge and training.

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The German Federal Office for Migration and Refugees say it will test out the speech recognition program. It will compare the voice recordings of asylum seekers to a library of the speech samples. The German government will start testing samples in the next two weeks. It will also expand the program by 2018. The objective is to record separate speech sample from the asylum seekers and then carry out an automatic dialect analysis.

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Two major problems of speech analysis software for identifying refugees

Well, some linguists are skeptical about the software. They think the speech analysis software might misidentify the asylum seekers. A professor of linguistics at the University of Essex said, “I don’t see how automated software can distinguish whether a person uses a certain word or pronounces it in a particular way because this is part of their repertoire or because they were primed to do so by the interviewer or interpreter”.

One more complicating factor is, language is always changing. So it will be difficult for the German Federal Office to get the volume of data to train the software and update it. Especially the rare dialects are not easy to track down.

The technology is based on speech analysis software used in banks and other insurance companies. In February German government drafted a law that will seize the smartphones and laptops to know the origin of refugees. But this law raised privacy issues. Thus, they developed this method for identification of refugees.

1 Comment
  1. Archimedes said “give me a pole long enough and I will move the world.” With voice recognition, he might have said “give me a voice sample large enough and I will sort the world.”

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