German officials plan to screen refugees using an automated software that analyzes dialects, according to German paper Die Welt via Deutsche Welle.
The speech analysis system would help officials in reviewing an applicant's sources of origin. Technology in the software is the same used by financial firms, such as banks and insurance companies, to verify people over the phone.
"The idea is to record a separate speech sample from asylum seekers and to carry out an automatic dialect analysis," Julian Detzel, from the BAMF told Die Welt .
Germany has been using speech analysis since the 1990s to look into claims of origin. For cases in which dialects are uncertain, the clips of the discussions with the applicant are sent to a linguistics expert who listens for dialectic variation, such as using different names for food.
However, some experts are skeptical of the AI software.
"Identifying the region of origin for anyone based on their speech is an extremely complex task," Professor Monika Schmid from the University of Essex professor told DW. "I don't see how automated software can distinguish whether a person uses a certain word or pronounces it in a particular way because this is part of their own repertoire or because they were primed to do so by the interviewer or interpreter."
The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) plans to begin testing the software in the next two weeks and will fully launch the program next year.
Germany, like other European countries, has been struggling to deal with the refugee influx from countries including Syria, Africa and Afghanistan.
In 2015, more than 1 million migrants fled to Europe by sea, while 34,900 traveled by land, according to The International Organization for Migration. That year, Germany had more than 476,000 new asylum applications, the highest number compared to other European countries.