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Do we all have a unique 'voiceprint' ?

Posted on Saturday, 16 February, 2013 | Comment icon 7 comments | News tip by: Still Waters

Image credit: J. Smith

Ever since the events of 9/11, scientists have been trying to find a reliable way to recognize voices.

The process of determining who someone is by their voice alone is long and difficult. The need for an effective and reliable means with which to do this stemmed from recordings of terrorists involved in the 9/11 attacks who needed to be identified. Since then, automated programs capable of detecting similarities between two voices have advanced significantly however the process of obtaining and recognizing a person's unique 'voiceprint' has yet to be accomplished.

"September 11 was the trigger for this as, after the attacks, the police and intelligence services realised that while there were so many recordings of the voices of the terrorists they didn't have the technology they needed to extract information from them," said Agnitio Corp technical director Antonio Moreno.

"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."

  View: Full article |  Source: Independent

  Discuss: View comments (7)


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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Reann on 15 February, 2013, 13:54
What about people who are able to impersonate voices? Would the technology be able to determine that somehow in some way?
Comment icon #2 Posted by shrooma on 16 February, 2013, 11:42
I once saw a programme years ago that did exactly that reann. it was about a machine that tested vocal resonance, and to test it, they fed it with the voice of mel blanc doing what he did best, voicing cartoon characters. they used bugs bunny, yosemite sam, elmer fudd, foghorn leghorn, amongst others, which all sound completely different to the ear, but to the resonance machine, they were all exactly the same! wonder why the FBI/CIA/MI5/McDonalds don't just use one of them, and put the money they're spending searching into housing the homeless instead....?
Comment icon #3 Posted by Sundew on 16 February, 2013, 13:33
I wonder about the animal kingdom as well. Consider a penguin colony where all the individuals look identical, then also consider that most birds have a very poor sense of smell. So if you discount vision and scent as ways of recognition, then that leaves sound. Possibly through their calls alone, a parent can find its chick in all the chaotic cacophony of several thousand birds calling at once. So does each chick have its own unique voice that is "imprinted" on its parents and how can they filter out all the background noise? This is also true in colonies of sea lions and seals, h... [More]
Comment icon #4 Posted by wimfloppp on 16 February, 2013, 16:46
Iknow my wifes voice when i hear it.
Comment icon #5 Posted by pallidin on 16 February, 2013, 19:02
Oh yeah. and sometimes not gentle.
Comment icon #6 Posted by Reann on 28 February, 2013, 12:50
That's interesting to know. I once watched something about a machine , some enormous computer , I think it's located in England somewhere , it creates files for each imdividual voice , globally I think .
Comment icon #7 Posted by Reann on 1 March, 2013, 16:51
^ yeah, by means of telephone conversations the computer which is also referred to or named " the beast " would continually listen in on phone converstations and as it discovers new voices it creates a new personal file for it. The system is designed to listen in for certain words, and is continuously active. Being that the internet is utilized by means of cable and phone lines , when clinton mentioned to watch what you say because you don't know who is listening, he may have also been referring to that particular system as well as other forms of spying.

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