CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Monday, January 28, 2008

FBI Attempts to Develop a Voice Fingerprint

From  The FBI is trying to develop a system that could make your voice as unique and recognizable as your fingerprint. Although not yet at its peak potential, the technology currently helps investigators with tasks such as verifying Osama bin Laden videos and locating gunshots.

Running an audio clip of someone's voice through the system, called FASR, prompts bright squiggly lines to rise and fall. Each voice is quite distinct. While the pattern isn't as definitive as DNA, the FBI says, FASR gets pretty close.

When a new Osama bin Laden audio or video tape pops up on the Internet, the forensic analysts at the FBI Audio Lab in Quantico, Va., process the voice through this system. The results allow them report whether the tape is authentic.

It doesn't matter what language is being spoken, Steven Lanser who heads up the FBI audio team says. Regardless of whether one is speaking Arabic, Urdu or English, a voice follows a particular pattern.

Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]

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