Computers perfectly forge Handwriting

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Handwriting analysts really have their work cut out from them now, thanks to the development of new software that can forge—better than a human can—a person’s handwriting. So if you are worried about identity theft, add one more element to the kettle: a crook getting ahold of this software (developed at the University College London) and perfectly duplicating your signature.

Previous attempts to create computer generated forgery that looked real have flopped, a la, “This looks like a computer did it!”

A new algorithm has been invented that very much simulates the way a human creates handwriting. One of the tell-tale signs of computer generated signatures or other cursive is that it looks too perfect, particularly the linking of characters to each other.

The new algorithm captures the human qualities of penmanship, including:

  • The joining of the characters. Note that with those fancy fonts that look handwritten, the joining of each letter is so perfect that you can tell it is computer generated.
  • Varying degrees of thickness of the characters—which results from continuous changes of pressure that a person exerts on the writing implement, as well as varying flow of ink from the pen.
  • Horizontal and vertical spacing of characters.

These variations mimic the handwriting of a human, not robot. All the algorithm needs is one paragraph of someone’s handwriting to calculate and deliver the replication.

And you are probably wondering why this algorithm was developed, aside from maybe the researchers’ hunger for finally figuring out the puzzle to replicating handwriting with a computer. Obviously, this technology can get into the wrong hands, such as those of identity thieves, plaintiffs in personal injury lawsuits who want to forge a doctor’s signature, and other litigants in legal cases.

But this algorithm has a place in the world of good. For instance, for those whose ability to physically generate cursive is impaired can use this tool to create stylish handwriting or writing that looks like theirs used to.

Robert Siciliano CEO of, personal security and identity theft expert and speaker is the author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Identity Was Stolen. See him knock’em dead in this identity theft prevention video.


Re-Blogged 1 time:

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  1. Gabe Sanders 11/27/2016 11:57 PM
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Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®
RE/MAX Realty Center - Waukesha, WI
Giving Back With Each Home Sold!

I love the ending...never really thought about that, but I always remember my Gmas writing :-)

Nov 16, 2016 10:40 PM #1
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Robert- you answered the question I was asking as I read your post.  It seems to me that sometimes just because you can doesn't mean you should. 

Nov 17, 2016 12:44 AM #2
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

                                     Thanks Robert Siciliano 

Nov 19, 2016 11:52 AM #3
Fred Griffin
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

 Great article, and a link to a great video.  This is fascinating technology!

Nov 19, 2016 10:45 PM #4
Dorie Dillard
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.346.1799 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good morning Robert Siciliano ,

I'm so glad Kathy Streib featured this in her "Ah-ha" moments for the week. Very interesting post with a good link to a great video..thanks for sharing. Technology is never ending . I agree with Kathy "sometimes just because you can doesn't mean you should." 

Nov 19, 2016 10:52 PM #5
Beth Atalay
Cam Realty and Property Management - Clermont, FL
Cam Realty of Clermont FL

Good morning Robert, I love what Kathy said, just because you can, doesn't mean you should. If only everyone can grasp that concept.

Nov 19, 2016 10:59 PM #6
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad

That's pretty fascinating, and while I can see the positives is it reallty necessary. And when you consider what potentially could happen...and it will...that's REAL scary

Nov 19, 2016 11:40 PM #7
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager just keeps getting worse as far as ways to steal from us. 

Nov 20, 2016 12:41 AM #8
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Robert, your posts are so interesting and, at the same time, so scary!

Nov 20, 2016 02:08 AM #9
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

Very interesting article of forgery on signatures and how to avoid fraud,

Sam Shueh

Nov 20, 2016 10:26 AM #10
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Wow.  This can be huge for some applications.  Both positive and negative.

Nov 27, 2016 05:29 AM #11
Patricia Feager
Selling Homes Changing Lives

I only see one positive and that's for the person who is physically impaired. For anyone else it shouldn't be allowed. 

Nov 28, 2016 04:22 AM #12
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Robert Siciliano

Realty Security and Identity Theft Expert Speaker
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