For research in audiovisual interview archives often it is not only of interest what is said but also how. Sentiment analysis and emotion recognition can help capture, categorize and make these different facets searchable. In particular, for oral history archives, such indexing technologies can be of great interest. These technologies can help understand the role of emotions in historical remembering. However, humans often perceive sentiments and emotions ambiguously and subjectively. Moreover, oral history interviews have multi-layered levels of complex, sometimes contradictory, sometimes very subtle facets of emotions. Therefore, the question arises of the chance machines and humans have capturing and assigning these into predefined categories. This paper investigates the ambiguity in human perception of emotions and sentiment in German oral history interviews and the impact on machine learning systems. Our experiments reveal substantial differences in human perception for different emotions. Furthermore, we report from ongoing machine learning experiments with different modalities. We show that the human perceptual ambiguity and other challenges, such as class imbalance and lack of training data, currently limit the opportunities of these technologies for oral history archives. Nonetheless, our work uncovers promising observations and possibilities for further research.
Automatic speech recognition systems have accomplished remarkable improvements in transcription accuracy in recent years. On some domains, models now achieve near-human performance. However, transcription performance on oral history has not yet reached human accuracy. In the present work, we investigate how large this gap between human and machine transcription still is. For this purpose, we analyze and compare transcriptions of three humans on a new oral history data set. We estimate a human word error rate of 8.7% for recent German oral history interviews with clean acoustic conditions. For comparison with recent machine transcription accuracy, we present experiments on the adaptation of an acoustic model achieving near-human performance on broadcast speech. We investigate the influence of different adaptation data on robustness and generalization for clean and noisy oral history interviews. We optimize our acoustic models by 5 to 8% relative for this task and achieve 23.9% WER on noisy and 15.6% word error rate on clean oral history interviews.
Table extraction is an important but still unsolved problem. In this paper, we introduce a flexible end-to-end table extraction system. We develop two rule-based algorithms that perform the complete table recognition process and support the most frequent table formats found in the scientific literature. Moreover, to incorporate the extraction of semantic information into the table recognition process, we develop a graph-based table interpretation method. We conduct extensive experiments on the challenging table recognition benchmarks ICDAR 2013 and ICDAR 2019. Our table recognition approach achieves results competitive with state-of-the-art approaches. Moreover, our complete information extraction system exhibited a high F1 score of 0.7380 proving the utility of our approach.
Despite recent advances, standard sequence labeling systems often fail when processing noisy user-generated text or consuming the output of an Optical Character Recognition (OCR) process. In this paper, we improve the noise-aware training method by proposing an empirical error generation approach that employs a sequence-to-sequence model trained to perform translation from error-free to erroneous text. Using an OCR engine, we generated a large parallel text corpus for training and produced several real-world noisy sequence labeling benchmarks for evaluation. Moreover, to overcome the data sparsity problem that exacerbates in the case of imperfect textual input, we learned noisy language model-based embeddings. Our approach outperformed the baseline noise generation and error correction techniques on the erroneous sequence labeling data sets. To facilitate future research on robustness, we make our code, embeddings, and data conversion scripts publicly available.
Sequence labeling systems should perform reliably not only under ideal conditions but also with corrupted inputs - as these systems often process user-generated text or follow an error-prone upstream component. To this end, we formulate the noisy sequence labeling problem, where the input may undergo an unknown noising process and propose two Noise-Aware Training (NAT) objectives that improve robustness of sequence labeling performed on perturbed input: Our data augmentation method trains a neural model using a mixture of clean and noisy samples, whereas our stability training algorithm encourages the model to create a noise-invariant latent representation. We employ a vanilla noise model at training time. For evaluation, we use both the original data and its variants perturbed with real OCR errors and misspellings. Extensive experiments on English and German named entity recognition benchmarks confirmed that NAT consistently improved robustness of popular sequence labeling models, preserving accuracy on the original input. We make our code and data publicly available for the research community.
With regard to the wider area of AI/LT platform interoperability, we concentrate on two core aspects: (1) cross-platform search and discovery of resources and services; (2) composition of cross-platform service workflows. We devise five different levels (of increasing complexity) of platform interoperability that we suggest to implement in a wider federation of AI/LT platforms. We illustrate the approach using the five emerging AI/LT platforms AI4EU, ELG, Lynx, QURATOR and SPEAKER.
Multilingualism is a cultural cornerstone of Europe and firmly anchored in the European treaties including full language equality. However, language barriers impacting business, cross-lingual and cross-cultural communication are still omnipresent. Language Technologies (LTs) are a powerful means to break down these barriers. While the last decade has seen various initiatives that created a multitude of approaches and technologies tailored to Europe's specific needs, there is still an immense level of fragmentation. At the same time, AI has become an increasingly important concept in the European Information and Communication Technology area. For a few years now, AI, including many opportunities, synergies but also misconceptions, has been overshadowing every other topic. We present an overview of the European LT landscape, describing funding programmes, activities, actions and challenges in the different countries with regard to LT, including the current state of play in industry and the LT market. We present a brief overview of the main LT-related activities on the EU level in the last ten years and develop strategic guidance with regard to four key dimensions.
In automatic speech recognition, often little training data is available for specific challenging tasks, but training of state-of-the-art automatic speech recognition systems requires large amounts of annotated speech. To address this issue, we propose a two-staged approach to acoustic modeling that combines noise and reverberation data augmentation with transfer learning to robustly address challenges such as difficult acoustic recording conditions, spontaneous speech, and speech of elderly people. We evaluate our approach using the example of German oral history interviews, where a relative average reduction of the word error rate by 19.3% is achieved.