Germany to use voice recognition software to determine refugees’ origins
Germany is to employ a state-of-the-art voice recognition technology to determine the countries of origin of the refugees coming to the European country without documentation.
Germany’s Federal Migration Office (BAMF) would start using the new software, dubbed “The Tongue”, in near future to identify those Arabic-speaking refugees claiming to be Syrian in a bid to raise their chances of receiving asylum, local media reported on Friday.
The BAMF will use the new computer program, whose database is recorded speech samples, to analyze dialects of refugees, a task currently conducted by interpreters to determine the refugees’ origins.
The new software is largely akin to the voice authentication technology employed by banks and insurance companies and is said to be capable of differentiating between dialects.
Critics of the technique, however, believe that it would be near impossible for an automatic machine to be entirely accurate, as language, including dialect and vocabulary, is ever-changing.
An array of data will be examined and analyzed, including the asylum-seeker’s documentation, before a final decision is made regarding the asylum application.
According to official figures, however, some 60 percent of the refugees who set foot on German soil last year did not have required identification papers. German authorities recorded 280,000 refugee arrivals in 2016.
Europe has been experiencing an unprecedented influx of refugees over the past months. The asylum seekers flee conflict-ridden zones in North Africa and the Middle East, particularly Syria.
Many blame major European powers for the exodus, saying their policies have led to a surge in terrorism and war in the violence-hit regions, forcing more people out of their homes.