Please Say Your Password At The Beep

A team of scientists has come up with a way to make voice authentication simpler and, at the same time, much more secure. 

Article written by guest writer Kecia Lynn

What's the Latest Development?

Next week in Germany a team of computer scientists from Carnegie Mellon University will present a paper describing a new method of voice data encryption that involves matching it against a record that does not contain an actual sample of the the speaker's voice. Their approach turns the user's voice sample (which is taken when he or she first registers at a location where identification is required) into a kind of password itself, and creates multiple unique chunks of sample data that can be used to identify the user when he or she says an arbitrary phrase.

What's the Big Idea?

Biometric approaches to security have been supported by researchers and others for years, but the level to which such data can be made truly secure has long posed a problem. Voice data in particular can reveal too much information, which could then be easily matched against preexisting recordings on less-secure sites such as YouTube. The team also took into consideration the amount of time spent decoding thousands of simultaneous logins on the server side, by creating a separate piece of code from all those previously-generated chunks of sample data and using it as the basis for comparison. 

Photo Credit:

Car culture and suburbs grow right-wing populism, claims study

New research links urban planning and political polarization.

Politics & Current Affairs
  • Canadian researchers find that excessive reliance on cars changes political views.
  • Decades of car-centric urban planning normalized unsustainable lifestyles.
  • People who prefer personal comfort elect politicians who represent such views.
Keep reading Show less

How to split the USA into two countries: Red and Blue

Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.

Image: Dicken Schrader
Strange Maps
  • America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
  • Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
  • Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
Keep reading Show less

NASA astronomer Michelle Thaller on ​the multiple dimensions of space and human sexuality

Science and the squishiness of the human mind. The joys of wearing whatever the hell you want, and so much more.

Flickr / 13winds
Think Again Podcasts
  • Why can't we have a human-sized cat tree?
  • What would happen if you got a spoonful of a neutron star?
  • Why do we insist on dividing our wonderfully complex selves into boring little boxes
Keep reading Show less