Germany will soon begin testing new voice recognition software that can tell the origin of immigrants without documentation. The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) will start testing the program dubbed ‘the tongue’ within two weeks. The software has been developed to analyze dialects of asylum seekers in Germany based on recorded speech samples. According to the developer, it can ‘read’ a person’s voice and work out their country of origin. Since 2015, more than one million immigrants have settled in Germany. More than 60 percent of migrants who arrived in 2016 had no papers.
Doubts have also been expressed about how truthful some of those who have arrived in Germany have been when it comes to stating their country of birth.
Although many people have claimed to be escaping war and persecution in Syria, thousands are thought to be economic migrants from the Middle East and North Africa who have decided to take advantage of the German government’s open-door policy.
According to Die Welt newspaper, Germany’s Office for Migration and Refugees confirmed it was testing the software. An agency spokeswoman said it would ‘complement’ existing ways of verifying a person’s identity.
Andrea Brinkmann told the Associated Press that officials would still rely on a range of information, including documents presented by the asylum-seeker and an expert opinion, before reaching a final conclusion about their status.
The move is likely to win support for Merkel ahead of Germany’s general election later this year. Her reputation has been seriously dented as a result of her migrant policy.