Indeed, in just a matter of months, we have seen the implementation of the Google Wallet Smartphone app in places like New Jersey and New York transportation systems, as well as the development of implantable microchips that can both react to -- and control -- the human brain. Not only that, but we have recently witnessed the introduction of vein scanners to the general public for the purpose of payment and identification.
However, with a recent announcement made by Homeland Security News Wire, it appears we can add one more strand in the web of the high-tech security grid that is being built before our eyes.
According to Homeland Security News Wire, research teams from all across the United States are hard at work developing a new voice recognition software that can analyze and determine whether or not a person is drunk, angry, or lying.
Dr. Julia Hirschberg, a computer science professor at Columbia University, is described in the article as being one of the researchers working on such a program. Her project involves the creation of a computer program that can “deconstruct an individual’s speech pattern to see if they are being honest by searching for cues like volume, changes in pitch, pauses between words, and other verbal signs.”
So far, Hirschberg’s team claims they have been able to tell whether or not an individual is lying with 70% accuracy.
The technology being developed by Hirschberg is similar in scope to the “emotion detectors” set to be implemented in Western airports, which claim to be able to translate subconscious eye movements, dilated pupils, biting, nose wrinkling, heavy breathing, pressing lips together, blinking, swallowing, and other facial movements into mathematical algorithms capable of predicting potential “terrorist” activity or emotions such as anger and resentment.
Another speech analysis research program, being conducted by Shrikanth Narayanan, a University of Southern California engineering professor, is set to develop a system that can analyze “an individual’s emotions using by using mathematical algorithms that scan hundreds of vocal cues like pitch, timing, and intensity.”
Although Narayanan claims that some emotions are difficult to determine, he says that anger is relatively easy to spot. He is also at work on a program that will be able to determine if an individual is drunk. However, that program, according to the report, has not progressed as far as the one focused on anger.
But perhaps the most interesting aspect of the research, particularly of Hirschberg’s programs, is the source of funding.
Interestingly enough, Dr. Hirschberg recently became the recipient of $1.5 million dollars by virtue of a grant from the U.S. Air Force to work on algorithms to analyze Arabic and Mandarin speakers. The grant also includes a directive to analyze English speakers, a very important tool if one is intent on tracking and tracing American citizens.
Of course, a $1.5 million grant from the Air Force simply means a $1.5 million grant from the U.S. taxpayer. So, ironically, the American people are funding the Big Brother control grid with their own money, but, unfortunately, with the level of knowledge currently held by the general public, that irony is likely to be lost forever.