The Dangerous Junk Science of Vocal Risk Assessment

Kofman, Ava

Publisher:  The Intercept
Date Written:  25/11/2018
Year Published:  2018  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX23092

Various companies and government agencies aim to use technology that measures biological features such as facial expressions or tone of voice to assess individuals, such as refugee claimants or potential employees, for 'risk'. Many critics say the science behind this is dubious and can hide cultural bias under a blanket of objectivity.



Is it possible to tell whether someone is a criminal just from looking at their face or listening to the sound of their voice? The idea may seem ludicrous, like something out of science fiction and yet, some companies have recently begun to answer this question in the affirmative. AC Global Risk, a startup founded in 2016, claims to be able to determine your level of “risk” as an employee or an asylum-seeker based not on what you say, but how you say it.

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