Video-to-speech synthesis involves reconstructing the speech signal of a speaker from a silent video. The implicit assumption of this task is that the sound signal is either missing or contains a high amount of noise/corruption such that it is not useful for processing. Previous works in the literature either use video inputs only or employ both video and audio inputs during training, and discard the input audio pathway during inference. In this work we investigate the effect of using video and audio inputs for video-to-speech synthesis during both training and inference. In particular, we use pre-trained video-to-speech models to synthesize the missing speech signals and then train an audio-visual-to-speech synthesis model, using both the silent video and the synthesized speech as inputs, to predict the final reconstructed speech. Our experiments demonstrate that this approach is successful with both raw waveforms and mel spectrograms as target outputs.
Recent advances in deep neural networks have achieved unprecedented success in visual speech recognition. However, there remains substantial disparity between current methods and their deployment in resource-constrained devices. In this work, we explore different magnitude-based pruning techniques to generate a lightweight model that achieves higher performance than its dense model equivalent, especially under the presence of visual noise. Our sparse models achieve state-of-the-art results at 10% sparsity on the LRS3 dataset and outperform the dense equivalent up to 70% sparsity. We evaluate our 50% sparse model on 7 different visual noise types and achieve an overall absolute improvement of more than 2% WER compared to the dense equivalent. Our results confirm that sparse networks are more resistant to noise than dense networks.
Video-to-speech synthesis is the task of reconstructing the speech signal from a silent video of a speaker. Most established approaches to date involve a two-step process, whereby an intermediate representation from the video, such as a spectrogram, is extracted first and then passed to a vocoder to produce the raw audio. Some recent work has focused on end-to-end synthesis, whereby the generation of raw audio and any intermediate representations is performed jointly. All such approaches involve training on data from almost exclusively audio-visual datasets, i.e. every audio sample has a corresponding video sample. This precludes the use of abundant audio-only datasets which may not have a corresponding visual modality (e.g. audiobooks, radio podcasts, speech recognition datasets etc.), as well as audio-only architectures that have been developed by the audio machine learning community over the years. In this paper we propose to train encoder-decoder models on more than 3,500 hours of audio data at 24kHz, and then use the pre-trained decoders to initialize the audio decoders for the video-to-speech synthesis task. The pre-training step uses audio samples only and does not require labels or corresponding samples from other modalities (visual, text). We demonstrate that this pre-training step improves the reconstructed speech and that it is an unexplored way to improve the quality of the generator in a cross-modal task while only requiring samples from one of the modalities. We conduct experiments using both raw audio and mel spectrograms as target outputs and benchmark our models with existing work.
Speech-driven animation has gained significant traction in recent years, with current methods achieving near-photorealistic results. However, the field remains underexplored regarding non-verbal communication despite evidence demonstrating its importance in human interaction. In particular, generating laughter sequences presents a unique challenge due to the intricacy and nuances of this behaviour. This paper aims to bridge this gap by proposing a novel model capable of generating realistic laughter sequences, given a still portrait and an audio clip containing laughter. We highlight the failure cases of traditional facial animation methods and leverage recent advances in diffusion models to produce convincing laughter videos. We train our model on a diverse set of laughter datasets and introduce an evaluation metric specifically designed for laughter. When compared with previous speech-driven approaches, our model achieves state-of-the-art performance across all metrics, even when these are re-trained for laughter generation.
Recently reported state-of-the-art results in visual speech recognition (VSR) often rely on increasingly large amounts of video data, while the publicly available transcribed video datasets are limited in size. In this paper, for the first time, we study the potential of leveraging synthetic visual data for VSR. Our method, termed SynthVSR, substantially improves the performance of VSR systems with synthetic lip movements. The key idea behind SynthVSR is to leverage a speech-driven lip animation model that generates lip movements conditioned on the input speech. The speech-driven lip animation model is trained on an unlabeled audio-visual dataset and could be further optimized towards a pre-trained VSR model when labeled videos are available. As plenty of transcribed acoustic data and face images are available, we are able to generate large-scale synthetic data using the proposed lip animation model for semi-supervised VSR training. We evaluate the performance of our approach on the largest public VSR benchmark - Lip Reading Sentences 3 (LRS3). SynthVSR achieves a WER of 43.3% with only 30 hours of real labeled data, outperforming off-the-shelf approaches using thousands of hours of video. The WER is further reduced to 27.9% when using all 438 hours of labeled data from LRS3, which is on par with the state-of-the-art self-supervised AV-HuBERT method. Furthermore, when combined with large-scale pseudo-labeled audio-visual data SynthVSR yields a new state-of-the-art VSR WER of 16.9% using publicly available data only, surpassing the recent state-of-the-art approaches trained with 29 times more non-public machine-transcribed video data (90,000 hours). Finally, we perform extensive ablation studies to understand the effect of each component in our proposed method.
Audio-visual speech recognition has received a lot of attention due to its robustness against acoustic noise. Recently, the performance of automatic, visual, and audio-visual speech recognition (ASR, VSR, and AV-ASR, respectively) has been substantially improved, mainly due to the use of larger models and training sets. However, accurate labelling of datasets is time-consuming and expensive. Hence, in this work, we investigate the use of automatically-generated transcriptions of unlabelled datasets to increase the training set size. For this purpose, we use publicly-available pre-trained ASR models to automatically transcribe unlabelled datasets such as AVSpeech and VoxCeleb2. Then, we train ASR, VSR and AV-ASR models on the augmented training set, which consists of the LRS2 and LRS3 datasets as well as the additional automatically-transcribed data. We demonstrate that increasing the size of the training set, a recent trend in the literature, leads to reduced WER despite using noisy transcriptions. The proposed model achieves new state-of-the-art performance on AV-ASR on LRS2 and LRS3. In particular, it achieves a WER of 0.9% on LRS3, a relative improvement of 30% over the current state-of-the-art approach, and outperforms methods that have been trained on non-publicly available datasets with 26 times more training data.
Cross-lingual self-supervised learning has been a growing research topic in the last few years. However, current works only explored the use of audio signals to create representations. In this work, we study cross-lingual self-supervised visual representation learning. We use the recently-proposed Raw Audio-Visual Speech Encoders (RAVEn) framework to pre-train an audio-visual model with unlabelled multilingual data, and then fine-tune the visual model on labelled transcriptions. Our experiments show that: (1) multi-lingual models with more data outperform monolingual ones, but, when keeping the amount of data fixed, monolingual models tend to reach better performance; (2) multi-lingual outperforms English-only pre-training; (3) using languages which are more similar yields better results; and (4) fine-tuning on unseen languages is competitive to using the target language in the pre-training set. We hope our study inspires future research on non-English-only speech representation learning.
Talking face generation has historically struggled to produce head movements and natural facial expressions without guidance from additional reference videos. Recent developments in diffusion-based generative models allow for more realistic and stable data synthesis and their performance on image and video generation has surpassed that of other generative models. In this work, we present an autoregressive diffusion model that requires only one identity image and audio sequence to generate a video of a realistic talking human head. Our solution is capable of hallucinating head movements, facial expressions, such as blinks, and preserving a given background. We evaluate our model on two different datasets, achieving state-of-the-art results on both of them.
We present RAVEn, a self-supervised multi-modal approach to jointly learn visual and auditory speech representations. Our pre-training objective involves encoding masked inputs, and then predicting contextualised targets generated by slowly-evolving momentum encoders. Driven by the inherent differences between video and audio, our design is asymmetric w.r.t. the two modalities' pretext tasks: Whereas the auditory stream predicts both the visual and auditory targets, the visual one predicts only the auditory targets. We observe strong results in low- and high-resource labelled data settings when fine-tuning the visual and auditory encoders resulting from a single pre-training stage, in which the encoders are jointly trained. Notably, RAVEn surpasses all self-supervised methods on visual speech recognition (VSR) on LRS3, and combining RAVEn with self-training using only 30 hours of labelled data even outperforms a recent semi-supervised method trained on 90,000 hours of non-public data. At the same time, we achieve state-of-the-art results in the LRS3 low-resource setting for auditory speech recognition (as well as for VSR). Our findings point to the viability of learning powerful speech representations entirely from raw video and audio, i.e., without relying on handcrafted features. Code and models will be made public.