In response to the pranks, which have been happening nearly every day in recent months, the Coast Guard is planning to adopt voice recognition software to identify the phony callers. While these challenges make it hard to eliminate fake callers, voice recognition may be able to catch the pranksters as the Coast Guard believes most of the calls originate from a small number of callers. It's not entirely clear if the Coast Guard's adoption of voice recognition technology will provide any relief from the pranksters; many software systems record an extended conversation -- up to 40 seconds of talking -- to ID a voice accurately, and callers can potentially thwart the system just by disguising how they talk. The voice recognition software likely wouldn't give the Coast Guard what it needs to make such an arrest or obtain a warrant but would be a solution that would mitigate the damage of the calls without leading to jail time for the callers.
A two-day search-and-rescue operation by the US Coast Guard costs taxpayers an average of $500,000 in terms of assets deployed for the mission -- personnel, helicopters, and boats. The US Coast Guard's hoax call project has developed various technologies to track the origin of these calls to assist the investigation. Singh's team provided Homeland Security and the US Coast Guard with highly detailed information about the hoax caller and the environment this person was in when the call was placed. Singh's research and application of technology to voice recordings can profile callers, revealing whether they are under threat, their health status, race, ethnicity, confidence, personality, truthfulness, and more.