New Start-Up Offers Voice Biometrics Through AI-Powered Machine Learning

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LMH Blockchain’s active voice authentication technology also secures blockchain platforms using adaptive bio-metric authentication methods. Below is our recent interview with Michele Rene Scott, CMO at LMH Blockchain:

Michele Rene Scott

Q: Please provide our readers with a brief introduction to the company and its voice authentication technology, Say-Tec?

A: LMH Blockchain offers an artificial intelligence (AI) solution called Say-Tec which eliminates the need for individuals to remember passwords when signing onto a mobile device, website, or to approve a transaction. The flagship product of Walnut Creek, Calif.-based LMH Blockchain, Say-Tec also secures blockchain platforms using adaptive authentication methods.

Q: Who founded the company – and its flagship product, Say-Tec?

A: The three co-founders of LMH Blockchain and Say-Tec are based in Hong Kong, St. Louis and Walnut Creek–bringing decades of experience in emerging technologies, payments, multi-factor authentication, and business development strategy. They’ve each established proven records of solving real-world problems for clients in the financial services, digital commerce, healthcare, and retail industries. The founders are:
• Justin Leung, founder and Strategic Adviser, Asia Pacific Region
• Brian Maw, founder and CEO
• Steve Hoffman, founder and CTO

Say-Tec (Photos left to right: J. Leung; B. Maw; S. Hoffman and B. Maw outside the Moscone Center in San Francisco for the March 4-8, 2019 RSA Conference 2019.)

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Q: Tell me more about how Say-Tec voice authentication (i.e. voiceprint/VoicePIN) works?

A: A person simply speaks an assigned random four- to eight-digit code, such as 4-6-9-3, into her smartphone (or landline) for quick, easy and secure access or approval. The Say-Tec technology platform uses sophisticated algorithms, a method by which a person is verified through more than 100 unique data points such as the pitch, cadence and tone of voice.

The Say-Tec protocol for authentication supports other biometric approaches as well, such as fingerprint and facial. It enables businesses to reduce security risks while helping ensure a user-friendly experience.

Q: How unique is our vocal identity?

A: Each voice has its own attributes. Say-Tec’s voice biometric looks at more than 100 characteristics and makes a distinguished profile to discriminate between individuals. For example:

The vocal tract is made up the oral and nasal air passages that work with the movement of the mouth, jaw, tongue, pharynx, and larynx to articulate and control speech production. A combination of the unique physiology and behavioral aspects of speaking enable verification of an individual. We measure aspects of the characteristics which impart measurable acoustic patterns of the speech along with mannerisms, movement, and pronunciation. Voice verification technology works by converting spoken digits into a digital format and extracting the distinct vocal characteristics, such as pitch, cadence, and tone, to establish the individual’s unique voiceprint.

If a person has a cold, or irritation of the throat, such as scratchiness, the Say-Tec software requires an extra level of confirmation. When a person first registers her or his voice via Say-Tec we request that the individual speaks multiple numbers aloud. This allows the voice authentication technology to detect variations in the voice which helps better identify the individual for a fast and secure identity authentication process.

The Say-Tec voice verification process also captures any subtleties associated with our life stages. By repeatedly speaking a unique prescribed Say-Tec four- to eight-digit code into the voice recognition software the voiceprint is enhanced over time (i.e. increased quality based on higher sampling rates).

Say-Tec can be used with any spoken language and on any smartphone or tablet – Android or Apple. The solution can be applied to blockchain contracts and exchanges, payment approvals, password proxies, password recovery, high-value transactions, and more.

Q: Why is now the time for a technology solution like Say-Tec?

A: We’ve entered an era where voice is commonly used with new voice-activated digital assistants such as Apple’s Siri; Google’s Assist; Amazon’s Echo and other Alexa devices that let people instantly connect to Alexa to play music, control a smart home, get information, news, weather updates – just using a person’s voice commands. Say-Tec’s voice authentication is a method that consumers are growing increasingly comfortable with across their electronics landscape.

Additionally, unlike when some early voice solutions which were based on static (or, “passive”) pass-phrases that were then applied to all users, Say-Tec started by guaranteeing uniqueness and identifying the transacting identity at the same time for active voice authentication which conveys “aliveness.”

Today, the market is well-positioned for Say-Tec and its dynamic nature of voice authentication.

Q: What are the benefits of companies using Say-Tec?

A: Businesses are concerned about securing customer data, managing expenses, and being competitive. We align with our clients to achieve their goals and resolve these concerns. Sample benefits of using Say-Tec are:

• Wider set of choices – works with any telephone (mobile-centric; basic mobile phones, the latest smartphone, tablets; landlines at the office or home).
• Improved customer experience when customers are knocking on the company’s digital front door or wanting to approve a transaction.
• Lower data breaches, account hacks and fraud rates.
• Strong competitive differentiation.
• Reduced cost for hardware/security tokens.
• Lower operational overhead.
• Works with any spoken language on earth.
• Eliminates the need to remember log-in email addresses, passwords, and/or account numbers – individuals appreciate the “easy as speaking” way of authenticating.

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Q: How well does voice-authentication work?

A: It’s a strong technology that works very well. We track failed authentications and share statistics with our clients.It is estimated that every day a bad actor is stopped.

Q: How does blockchain offer assurances and certainties beyond what we know today? Where does Say-Tec fit into this picture?

A: Blockchain provides a secure immutable record (e.g. financial transactions, purchases, facts). Say-Tec provides a secure way to authenticate the individual and the transaction before it is committed to the blockchain.

Q: What are your plans for the future?

A: Today, our vision is two-fold:

• We aim to eliminate today’s outdated and fragmented authentication methods of identifying individuals using next-generation technology solutions that are simple-to-use, secure, and ubiquitous. Say-Tec’s biometric authentication solution will help revolutionize user-recognition and machine learning software by using the most basic capability of every phone: voice.

• We’re also focused on creating strategic partnerships and distinct solutions for today’s global marketplace, which is increasingly looking to leverage the blockchain platform for immutable data storage. We work with select technologies that we believe can clearly be brought to market effectively and used to address customer concerns.

Q: What can readers learn more?

A: We encourage readers to visit us via LMHBlockchain.com to learn more about the company and our flagship product which can be found at Say-Tec.com.

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