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The Accuracy and Consistency of Spectrographic Analysis for Voice Identification

This test investigated the accuracy and consistency of voice identification comparisons made by 5 trained examiners over a three week period. These individuals were all students of the University of Colorado at Denver and had taken a semester long course in Audio Forensics with limited training in voice identification. Each week, examiners conducted 8 closed-trial comparisons of 4 clue-phrases from both male and female speakers. In simulating a closed set spectrographic line-up, each comparison consisted of spectrograms from a pool of 4 “known” speakers and one “unknown” speaker- audio recordings of the known and unknown speakers were made 9 months apart. From the pool of known speakers, the examiner made a positive identification match to the unknown. After the three week period, data reveled that examiners reached the same conclusion in all three examinations for only 50% of the comparisons. The average accuracy of these examinations was 65%. This paper discusses the outcome of the experiment including interpretation of these and other results.

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AES - Audio Engineering Society