My Voice Is My Password

My bank here in the UK recently rolled out Voice ID, a system whereby you train their server with your voice, saying “My voice is my password” several times. I set this up yesterday for telephone banking, and went to try it out today.

It failed.

I instructed the bank to turn this off, and I won’t every bother to use it again. If a new technology fails the first time, there’s no reason to continue using it.

This is the problem with new technologies that don’t work optimally. My experience with Siri on iOS is so abysmal that I don’t even think of using it. My attempt to use Apple’s two-factor authentication led to much distress.

New, shiny technologies are cool, and look good in presentations, but they don’t always work in the real world. If they fail once, they’re dead forever for that user. You only get one try.

6 thoughts on “My Voice Is My Password

  1. “I instructed the bank to turn this off, and I won’t every bother to use it again.”

    This is really Luddite thinking, Kirk. Not only should this be enabled, but you should also enable the bank’s voice “One True Answer” system as I have.

    Now I can say something about my finances on the phone, and the bank will make it’s best attempt to translate it and enact a transition based on guessing my approximate wishes.

    It kinda works too! Be willing to move fast and break your bank account. Resisting new technology is, when you think about it, kinda abnormal, no?

    • I should be the type of person who wants this to work, right? But I am so fed up with features like this that fail – such as Siri – that I simply don’t care any more. It doesn’t make my life any easier, and can only lead to problems. I didn’t need anything urgently today, but what if at some other time I did and was locked out of my account? I can’t take that chance.

  2. “I instructed the bank to turn this off, and I won’t every bother to use it again.”

    This is really Luddite thinking, Kirk. Not only should this be enabled, but you should also enable the bank’s voice “One True Answer” system as I have.

    Now I can say something about my finances on the phone, and the bank will make it’s best attempt to translate it and enact a transition based on guessing my approximate wishes.

    It kinda works too! Be willing to move fast and break your bank account. Resisting new technology is, when you think about it, kinda abnormal, no?

    • I should be the type of person who wants this to work, right? But I am so fed up with features like this that fail – such as Siri – that I simply don’t care any more. It doesn’t make my life any easier, and can only lead to problems. I didn’t need anything urgently today, but what if at some other time I did and was locked out of my account? I can’t take that chance.

  3. A hidden way that this technology fails is in security. It’s already easy for someone with the free Audacity sound editor program to edit a recording of your voice to have you say things that you didn’t say. Given a 20-minute recording of your speech, if AI technology can’t currently synthesize your voice saying any phrase at all, then it will be able to soon. A bank or a car that rolls out a security product that is inherently insecure is irresponsible, and its users are imprudent.

  4. A hidden way that this technology fails is in security. It’s already easy for someone with the free Audacity sound editor program to edit a recording of your voice to have you say things that you didn’t say. Given a 20-minute recording of your speech, if AI technology can’t currently synthesize your voice saying any phrase at all, then it will be able to soon. A bank or a car that rolls out a security product that is inherently insecure is irresponsible, and its users are imprudent.

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