Your next banking password could be based on laughter

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In a world where tens millions of people use ‘12345’ or ‘qwerty’ as their passwords, it makes a great sense to use biometric security instead, as every human being has multiple unique biometric signatures that can be used instead of a password. 

This could all change soon after scientists revealed that laughter is unique to every person and can hardly be spoofed. A team from the Systems Engineering Department at the University of Lagos in Akoka, Lagos, Nigeria, have discovered that people can identify other people by the matchless nature of their laughter because, unlike voice and manner of speech, laughter almost cannot be mimicked.

To that end, the researchers have identified various audible frequencies in a person’s laugh that can be used to create a digital signature akin to a minutiae (hash) created by fingerprint readers.


According to the study published in the International Journal of Biometrics, the recognition algorithm created by the team is 90% accurate, which may be good enough for certain consumer applications. 

For example, laughter-based security could replace usage of voice recognition. Meanwhile, for systems that have to be very secure and predictable, the accuracy of the laughter recognition algorithm has to be improved. 

"Laughter has thus been shown to be a viable biometric feature for person identification which can be embedded into artificial intelligence systems in diverse applications," the team concluded. 

One potential problem with using laughter as a biometric signature is that the system that uses it for a secure login has to make one laugh. Everyone has a different sense of humor and what seems funny to one person is not for another. 

Furthermore, some things may seem funny at a time and not so funny when your mood changes. To that end, while laughter can be used as a digital signature, it is hardly good enough for systems that require a quick login. 

Via: Tech Xplore

Anton Shilov is the News Editor at AnandTech, Inc. For more than four years, he has been writing for magazines and websites such as AnandTech, TechRadar, Tom's Guide, Kit Guru, EE Times, Tech & Learning, EE Times Asia, Design & Reuse.