Past meetings of the Society
September 2001

Subject: Audio Forensics
Featured Guest: Robert Berkovitz, Sensimetrics Corporation
Date: Sunday, Sep. 23 Time: 6:00 PM
Place: Room 120 National Transportation Systems Center
55 Broadway, Cambridge, MA

Robert Berkovitz will present a discussion of audio forensic work. Sensimetrics Corporation, of which he is a founder with several MIT faculty, specializes in speech and hearing research. They began accepting forensic work as a sideline and have continued to take cases where the corporation's abilities are especially useful. They do no solicit such work.

If you are old enough, you most likely remember the '18 ½' minutes missing from President Nixon's White House Watergate tapes. It is the job of the audio forensics expert to reconstruct the missing data from like sources for legal purposes.

Audio forensics is used in many applications. Emergency calls to 911 often become evidence in court. The calls, and events taking place in the background, often are critical evidence, too, and must often be identified or transcribed. "We do not solve crimes, so I would not want it said that we do." Mr. Berkovitz will give us a peek into the type of forensic work done on tape recordings when they become important in courtrooms. Rather than find the name of a caller, the Sensimetrics Corporation's staff is often called upon to examine similarities and differences in the voices of possible callers, to suggest the most likely caller among a group of candidates.

To aid his lecture, Mr. Berkovitz will use video and audio playback devices. He will come supplied with tapes and videos to give us a peek into the world of solving crimes the 'audio way'. In the past, court evidence complied by the Sensimetrics Corporation's staff has gotten innocent people out of jail. Another use of audio forensics is finding out the name of the caller who left a bomb threat on an answering machine or the irate employee who anonymously tells his boss that he is going to hurt him/her.

Some well known national cases will be presented to members of the society. We will become a part of analyzing the 'who-done-it'. A lively discussion will follow each presentation.


The Boston Audio Society
PO BOX 260211
Boston MA 02126

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updated 11/11/04