Accessibility statement

Humans and machines: novel methods for testing speaker recognition performance

Funded by the AHRC

September 2021 - February 2023


Recognising an individual from his or her voice is something that we, as humans, do every day. However, machines are now increasingly being used to perform speaker recognition for a range of applications, including verifying identity to gain access to a bank account, searching through databases of persons of interest for intelligence purposes, or as a form of forensic evidence. But, do machines recognise voices in the way that humans do? To answer this question, we are developing a bespoke and innovative computer game which will not only allow us to address this issue, but will also test the use of voice as a central component of a computer game. Our game allows us to extract conceptually equivalent data from human listeners to compare and combine with the results of machines at the task of speaker recognition. We utilise large, existing corpora of speakers of different regional and social backgrounds and recordings of diverse technical qualities to assess the contexts in which humans and machines may perform better or worse. We also examine the potential cognitive biases which affect human judgements to understand the effects of contextual information on speaker recognition, especially in the forensic context. 

Project members