Germany to use speech recognition software to trace origin of refugees seeking asylum

Germany will start using speech recognition software to identify migrants' country of origin, the Federal Migration Office (BAMF) has declared. The trials for the software will begin in about two weeks and if the system works well, it will be deployed widely in 2018.

Although there are many linguists covering 80 languages at the migration office, a backlog of nearly 430,000 applications of asylum seekers was reported in the beginning of 2017. The agency hopes that implementing the software will ease pressure on the staff and clear out applications faster.

The software is based on voice recognition programs widely used by banks and insurance companies. It is designed to analyse the dialects of refugees based on speech samples.

The results will then be used to determine if an asylum applicant comes from a particularly war-torn region or a conflict zone and is in need of asylum.

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