Hearing Without Listening: Voice Authentication with Privacy – Bhiksha Raj (Carnegie Mellon University)

February 11, 2014 all-day
3400 North Charles Street
Baltimore, MD, 21218
United States

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Speech processing systems require access to recordings of the speaker’s voice. A person’s voice carries information about their gender, nationality etc., all of which become accessible to the system, which could abuse this knowledge. In this talk we discuss the issue of privacy in speech processing systems, and approaches that may be employed to address it. Specifically, we will consider voice authentication systems. A user’s voice prints may be stolen, or used without authorization to detect the user’s voice in unintended scenarios. They may even be used to impersonate the user elsewhere. In order to avoid this, the system must not possess an interpretable voice print for the user, and yet be able to authenticate them. We will discuss how this can be achieved through cryptographic methods, the limitations of these solutions, and an alternate approach based on a modified version of locality sensitive hashing known as secure binary embeddings that may actually enable a practical solution.

Bhiksha Raj is an associate professor in Carnegie Mellon University’s Language Technologies Institute, with additional affiliations to the Electrical and Computer Engineering, Machine Learning and Music Technology departments. Dr. Raj’s research interests include automatic speech recognition, audio processing, machine learning, and privacy. In particular, he worries about the casualness with which people give away samples of their voice without concern about its implications. Some of his latest research includes investigations into whether it can be made possible for people to use voice-based systems without giving away their voice.

Center for Language and Speech Processing