We present a novel typical-to-atypical voice conversion approach (DuTa-VC), which (i) can be trained with nonparallel data (ii) first introduces diffusion probabilistic model (iii) preserves the target speaker identity (iv) is aware of the phoneme duration of the target speaker. DuTa-VC consists of three parts: an encoder transforms the source mel-spectrogram into a duration-modified speaker-independent mel-spectrogram, a decoder performs the reverse diffusion to generate the target mel-spectrogram, and a vocoder is applied to reconstruct the waveform. Objective evaluations conducted on the UASpeech show that DuTa-VC is able to capture severity characteristics of dysarthric speech, reserves speaker identity, and significantly improves dysarthric speech recognition as a data augmentation. Subjective evaluations by two expert speech pathologists validate that DuTa-VC can preserve the severity and type of dysarthria of the target speakers in the synthesized speech.
The recently proposed Joint Energy-based Model (JEM) interprets discriminatively trained classifier $p(y|x)$ as an energy model, which is also trained as a generative model describing the distribution of the input observations $p(x)$. The JEM training relies on "positive examples" (i.e. examples from the training data set) as well as on "negative examples", which are samples from the modeled distribution $p(x)$ generated by means of Stochastic Gradient Langevin Dynamics (SGLD). Unfortunately, SGLD often fails to deliver negative samples of sufficient quality during the standard JEM training, which causes a very unbalanced contribution from the positive and negative examples when calculating gradients for JEM updates. As a consequence, the standard JEM training is quite unstable requiring careful tuning of hyper-parameters and frequent restarts when the training starts diverging. This makes it difficult to apply JEM to different neural network architectures, modalities, and tasks. In this work, we propose a training procedure that stabilizes SGLD-based JEM training (ST-JEM) by balancing the contribution from the positive and negative examples. We also propose to add an additional "regularization" term to the training objective -- MI between the input observations $x$ and output labels $y$ -- which encourages the JEM classifier to make more certain decisions about output labels. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach on the CIFAR10 and CIFAR100 tasks. We also consider the task of classifying phonemes in a speech signal, for which we were not able to train JEM without the proposed stabilization. We show that a convincing speech can be generated from the trained model. Alternatively, corrupted speech can be de-noised by bringing it closer to the modeled speech distribution using a few SGLD iterations. We also propose and discuss additional applications of the trained model.
Adversarial attacks are a threat to automatic speech recognition (ASR) systems, and it becomes imperative to propose defenses to protect them. In this paper, we perform experiments to show that K2 conformer hybrid ASR is strongly affected by white-box adversarial attacks. We propose three defenses--denoiser pre-processor, adversarially fine-tuning ASR model, and adversarially fine-tuning joint model of ASR and denoiser. Our evaluation shows denoiser pre-processor (trained on offline adversarial examples) fails to defend against adaptive white-box attacks. However, adversarially fine-tuning the denoiser using a tandem model of denoiser and ASR offers more robustness. We evaluate two variants of this defense--one updating parameters of both models and the second keeping ASR frozen. The joint model offers a mean absolute decrease of 19.3\% ground truth (GT) WER with reference to baseline against fast gradient sign method (FGSM) attacks with different $L_\infty$ norms. The joint model with frozen ASR parameters gives the best defense against projected gradient descent (PGD) with 7 iterations, yielding a mean absolute increase of 22.3\% GT WER with reference to baseline; and against PGD with 500 iterations, yielding a mean absolute decrease of 45.08\% GT WER and an increase of 68.05\% adversarial target WER.
Adversarial attacks pose a severe security threat to the state-of-the-art speaker identification systems, thereby making it vital to propose countermeasures against them. Building on our previous work that used representation learning to classify and detect adversarial attacks, we propose an improvement to it using AdvEst, a method to estimate adversarial perturbation. First, we prove our claim that training the representation learning network using adversarial perturbations as opposed to adversarial examples (consisting of the combination of clean signal and adversarial perturbation) is beneficial because it eliminates nuisance information. At inference time, we use a time-domain denoiser to estimate the adversarial perturbations from adversarial examples. Using our improved representation learning approach to obtain attack embeddings (signatures), we evaluate their performance for three applications: known attack classification, attack verification, and unknown attack detection. We show that common attacks in the literature (Fast Gradient Sign Method (FGSM), Projected Gradient Descent (PGD), Carlini-Wagner (CW) with different Lp threat models) can be classified with an accuracy of ~96%. We also detect unknown attacks with an equal error rate (EER) of ~9%, which is absolute improvement of ~12% from our previous work.
This technical report describes Johns Hopkins University speaker recognition system submitted to Voxceleb Speaker Recognition Challenge 2021 Track 3: Self-supervised speaker verification (closed). Our overall training process is similar to the proposed one from the first place team in the last year's VoxSRC2020 challenge. The main difference is a recently proposed non-contrastive self-supervised method in computer vision (CV), distillation with no labels (DINO), is used to train our initial model, which outperformed the last year's contrastive learning based on momentum contrast (MoCo). Also, this requires only a few iterations in the iterative clustering stage, where pseudo labels for supervised embedding learning are updated based on the clusters of the embeddings generated from a model that is continually fine-tuned over iterations. In the final stage, Res2Net50 is trained on the final pseudo labels from the iterative clustering stage. This is our best submitted model to the challenge, showing 1.89, 6.50, and 6.89 in EER(%) in voxceleb1 test o, VoxSRC-21 validation, and test trials, respectively.
The ubiquitous presence of machine learning systems in our lives necessitates research into their vulnerabilities and appropriate countermeasures. In particular, we investigate the effectiveness of adversarial attacks and defenses against automatic speech recognition (ASR) systems. We select two ASR models - a thoroughly studied DeepSpeech model and a more recent Espresso framework Transformer encoder-decoder model. We investigate two threat models: a denial-of-service scenario where fast gradient-sign method (FGSM) or weak projected gradient descent (PGD) attacks are used to degrade the model's word error rate (WER); and a targeted scenario where a more potent imperceptible attack forces the system to recognize a specific phrase. We find that the attack transferability across the investigated ASR systems is limited. To defend the model, we use two preprocessing defenses: randomized smoothing and WaveGAN-based vocoder, and find that they significantly improve the model's adversarial robustness. We show that a WaveGAN vocoder can be a useful countermeasure to adversarial attacks on ASR systems - even when it is jointly attacked with the ASR, the target phrases' word error rate is high.
* This work has been submitted to the IEEE for possible publication.
Copyright may be transferred without notice, after which this version may no
longer be accessible
Zero-shot multi-speaker Text-to-Speech (TTS) generates target speaker voices given an input text and the corresponding speaker embedding. In this work, we investigate the effectiveness of the TTS reconstruction objective to improve representation learning for speaker verification. We jointly trained end-to-end Tacotron 2 TTS and speaker embedding networks in a self-supervised fashion. We hypothesize that the embeddings will contain minimal phonetic information since the TTS decoder will obtain that information from the textual input. TTS reconstruction can also be combined with speaker classification to enhance these embeddings further. Once trained, the speaker encoder computes representations for the speaker verification task, while the rest of the TTS blocks are discarded. We investigated training TTS from either manual or ASR-generated transcripts. The latter allows us to train embeddings on datasets without manual transcripts. We compared ASR transcripts and Kaldi phone alignments as TTS inputs, showing that the latter performed better due to their finer resolution. Unsupervised TTS embeddings improved EER by 2.06\% absolute with regard to i-vectors for the LibriTTS dataset. TTS with speaker classification loss improved EER by 0.28\% and 0.73\% absolutely from a model using only speaker classification loss in LibriTTS and Voxceleb1 respectively.
In this work, we explore the dependencies between speaker recognition and emotion recognition. We first show that knowledge learned for speaker recognition can be reused for emotion recognition through transfer learning. Then, we show the effect of emotion on speaker recognition. For emotion recognition, we show that using a simple linear model is enough to obtain good performance on the features extracted from pre-trained models such as the x-vector model. Then, we improve emotion recognition performance by fine-tuning for emotion classification. We evaluated our experiments on three different types of datasets: IEMOCAP, MSP-Podcast, and Crema-D. By fine-tuning, we obtained 30.40%, 7.99%, and 8.61% absolute improvement on IEMOCAP, MSP-Podcast, and Crema-D respectively over baseline model with no pre-training. Finally, we present results on the effect of emotion on speaker verification. We observed that speaker verification performance is prone to changes in test speaker emotions. We found that trials with angry utterances performed worst in all three datasets. We hope our analysis will initiate a new line of research in the speaker recognition community.
* 45th International Conference on Acoustics, Speech, and Signal
Processing (ICASSP), 2020