Germany to use voice analysis software to discover refugee origins
GUSTAVO SUMARES 03/17/2017 15H03 ALGORITHM EUROPE JUSTICE
Germany is one of the countries that has taken its responsibility to provide humanitarian aid to the refugees who come to its territory seriously, and now plans to use a program to expedite the process. This is a speech recognition software that can confirm which country and region the speakers came from, according to the German daily Die Welt.
The program is based on other software used by banks and insurance companies to identify people. He is expected to help the Federal Bureau of Migration and Refugees (BAMF) process the more than 480,000 asylum applications or deportation protection that the country has in arrears.
According to Deutsch Welle, in situations where there is doubt as to the origin of a refugee (or the authenticity of his claim), a recording of his speech is sent as an annex to the asylum application process. This recording is then sent to one of BAMF's 45 specialist linguists so he can tell who the person is who he or she claims to be.
Initially, the office idea would be to use speech analysis software in a similar way. However, a linguist heard by the newspaper questioned the validity of this method. Professor Monika Schmid of the University of Essex pointed out that there are several factors that influence the way people talk - and one of them is the desire to adapt to the speaker's speech.
"I do not see how a program could tell if the person used a certain word or pronunciation because it is part of their repertoire, or if they did it because they felt they needed to do it for the interviewer or for the interpreter," he argued. Schmid was involved in a study that asked Germans to listen to speech recordings of people who, although Germans too, had lived abroad for five years or more. Many of the participants mistakenly said that the recordings were not from native speakers of the language.
Even so, the idea would not be for software to replace linguists - only to help BAMF streamline the processing of asylum applications. And that, according to Engadget, only in 2018, if the first tests showed reliable results.
Also according to the site, the country received 890,000 asylum applications in 2015 and 280,000 in 2016. Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq, in that order, are the countries where asylum seekers are most likely to come. Less than half of them get what they ask for, but almost 60% get at least some sort of protection from being deported.
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23 de mar. de 2017
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