Odyssey 2010: The Speaker and Language Recognition Workshop

Brno, Czech Republic
28 June 1 July 2010

Interpretation of DNA evidence as a paradigm for speaker recognition

David Balding

UCL Genetics Institute, London

The speaker is an expert in the interpretation of forensic DNA profile evidence, with little experience of speaker recognition problems. In this talk, he will review many issues that have confronted DNA profile experts when presenting evidence in court: problems such as population structure and (possibly remote) relatedness of suspects, sources of uncertainty in the use databases for allele frequency estimation, and the stochastic nature of DNA profiles in the presence of low amounts of DNA. Although the calculation of likelihood ratios in many of these settings is problematic, the use of likelihood ratios to evaluate evidence has substantial support from academic researchers. It still meets resistance in practice, despite the serious flaws of alternative approaches. Even the academic supporters agree on the difficulty of trying to explain to judges and jurors how to correctly use likelihood ratios as a guide to rational thought, but on the basis of substantial courtroom experience the present speaker will argue that this is possible. Looking across to the speaker recognition problem, similarities and differences will be explored, and suggestions for research directions will be proposed.

Bibliographic reference.  Balding, David (2010): "Interpretation of DNA evidence as a paradigm for speaker recognition", In Odyssey-2010, paper 027 (abstract).