Why Voice Technology Might Not Be the Way Forward for Russian ATMs

Why Voice Technology Might Not Be the Way Forward for Russian ATMs
November 25, 2019 Comments Off on Why Voice Technology Might Not Be the Way Forward for Russian ATMs Technology chris

Liar, Liar, Your Russian Credit Application’s on Fire


COMMENTARY Coming soon to ATMs in Russia: ATMs equipped with voice-analysis equipment that can tell if you’re a filthy liar.

Sberbank, Russia’s largest bank, is testing ATMs that use voice-analysis software to detect whether a credit card applicant applying via their automated machines is telling the truth. The New York Times reports that the ATM would ask questions regarding employment and other necessary details involved in a credit application. The software, created by the Speech Technology Center, would be able to assess the anxiety and nervousness involuntarily hidden in vocal responses when lying.

This is groundbreaking, and the technology sounds amazing. But will it work?

I’m reminded of the phone call I made this morning to have a pick-up scheduled through a shipping company. My call was routed straight to a voice recognition menu, where I cheerfully replied that the purpose of my call was to “schedule an express pick-up.” After a pause, the automated female voice replied, “I’m sorry, I didn’t understand. Please repeat your option.” I replied, enunciating clearly, “Schedule. Express. Pick-up.” The female voice replied, “I think you want to schedule an express pick-up. Is that correct?”

“Yes.”

“I’m sorry, I didn’t understand. Please repeat.”

“YES.”

At this point, my voice was no longer cheerful. It was sharp and edged with the irritation of having had this same repetitious, clipped exchange on an almost daily basis when attempting to send out my packages. The computer picked up on what I was trying to do, though, and the female voice assured me that my pick-up was scheduled. At least, for today, my business was taken care of.

But will there be similar, stressful moments with the Russian ATMs? I foresee a well-meaning client applying for credit and having to repeat several times that he is employed with Moscow Shoe Company. The ATM will respond sharply, “I’m sorry, I don’t understand. Please repeat.” The client will become flustered and again say the name of his company. Becoming agitated, his voice will change, at which point the ATM may reply:

“You’re a liar. Please step away from the machine and don’t come back until you can tell the truth.”

Maybe my confidence in voice recognition and analysis software isn’t as high as it should be. Hopefully the technology developed by the Speech Technology Center and employed by Russia’s largest bank will be more dynamic than the program used by my preferred shipping company. That said, I eagerly await humorous tales from the front-lines of Russia’s most (and least) credit-worthy citizens.

Source: Andrew E. Kramer, An A.T.M. With An Ear For The Truth, The New York Times

Tags
About The Author