Drunk Speech Can be Detected Via Computer Analysis Developed by USC Kids: Will Cops Use it?

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Thu, Nov 10, 2011 at 11:25 AM
click to enlarge No computer necessary here.
  • No computer necessary here.

It's bad enough that cops have breathalyzers, blood tests and pen-size flashlights to ferret out your drunk ass.

Now the geeks at USC have developed a computer program that pretty much tell if you're DUI just by listening to you talk. (Thanks guys).

The good news is that the program isn't foolproof. And the cops don't have their hands on it yet. Nope. USC Viterbi School of Engineering's Signal Analysis and Interpretation Laboratory (SAIL) students developed their analysis tool for the International Speech Communication Association annual conference and competition. And ...

... they won.

The deal, according to USC, was to try to determine who was drunk simply by listening:

The raw material was 39 hours of recorded utterances from 154 German volunteers - 77 men and 77 women ranging in age from 21 to 75 - first interviewed with high blood alcohol levels, then two weeks later when sober.

The half-dozen USC students, led by professor Shrikanth Narayanan, nailed it 70 percent of the time.

Smart asses. USC:

In the future, then, will police officers ask drivers stopped on suspicion of drunken driving to speak a few words into a microphone instead of walking a straight line? "Not right away," [Doctoral student Daniel] Bone said, "but it is possible that in-car alcohol detection systems may incorporate speech-based technology in combination with other techniques."


Hollywood will be really excited when these nerds can detect closeted and / or coked-up speech.


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