In this work, we extend the instruction-tuned Llama-2 model with end-to-end general-purpose speech processing and reasoning abilities while maintaining the wide range of LLM capabilities, without using any carefully curated paired data. The proposed model can utilize audio prompts as a replacement for text and sustain a conversation. Such a model also has extended cross-modal capabilities such as being able to perform speech question answering, speech translation, and audio summarization amongst many other closed and open-domain tasks. This is unlike prior approaches in speech, in which LLMs are extended to handle audio for a limited number of pre-designated tasks. Experiments show that our end-to-end approach is on par with or outperforms a cascaded system (speech recognizer + LLM) in terms of modeling the response to a prompt. Furthermore, unlike a cascade, our approach shows the ability to interchange text and audio modalities and utilize the prior context in a conversation to provide better results.
Language models (LMs) have been commonly adopted to boost the performance of automatic speech recognition (ASR) particularly in domain adaptation tasks. Conventional way of LM training treats all the words in corpora equally, resulting in suboptimal improvements in ASR performance. In this work, we introduce a novel correction focused LM training approach which aims to prioritize ASR fallible words. The word-level ASR fallibility score, representing the likelihood of ASR mis-recognition, is defined and shaped as a prior word distribution to guide the LM training. To enable correction focused training with text-only corpora, large language models (LLMs) are employed as fallibility score predictors and text generators through multi-task fine-tuning. Experimental results for domain adaptation tasks demonstrate the effectiveness of our proposed method. Compared with conventional LMs, correction focused training achieves up to relatively 5.5% word error rate (WER) reduction in sufficient text scenarios. In insufficient text scenarios, LM training with LLM-generated text achieves up to relatively 13% WER reduction, while correction focused training further obtains up to relatively 6% WER reduction.
Recent research has shown that language models have a tendency to memorize rare or unique token sequences in the training corpus. After deploying a model, practitioners might be asked to delete any personal information from the model by individuals' requests. Re-training the underlying model every time individuals would like to practice their rights to be forgotten is computationally expensive. We employ a teacher-student framework and propose a novel leave-one-out ensemble method to unlearn the targeted textual sequences that need to be forgotten from the model. In our approach, multiple teachers are trained on disjoint sets; for each targeted sequence to be removed, we exclude the teacher trained on the set containing this sequence and aggregate the predictions from remaining teachers to provide supervision during fine-tuning. Experiments on LibriSpeech and WikiText-103 datasets show that the proposed method achieves superior privacy-utility trade-offs than other counterparts.
Model adaptation is crucial to handle the discrepancy between proxy training data and actual users data received. To effectively perform adaptation, textual data of users is typically stored on servers or their local devices, where downstream natural language processing (NLP) models can be directly trained using such in-domain data. However, this might raise privacy and security concerns due to the extra risks of exposing user information to adversaries. Replacing identifying information in textual data with a generic marker has been recently explored. In this work, we leverage large language models (LLMs) to suggest substitutes of masked tokens and have their effectiveness evaluated on downstream language modeling tasks. Specifically, we propose multiple pre-trained and fine-tuned LLM-based approaches and perform empirical studies on various datasets for the comparison of these methods. Experimental results show that models trained on the obfuscation corpora are able to achieve comparable performance with the ones trained on the original data without privacy-preserving token masking.
Neural network pruning offers an effective method for compressing a multilingual automatic speech recognition (ASR) model with minimal performance loss. However, it entails several rounds of pruning and re-training needed to be run for each language. In this work, we propose the use of an adaptive masking approach in two scenarios for pruning a multilingual ASR model efficiently, each resulting in sparse monolingual models or a sparse multilingual model (named as Dynamic ASR Pathways). Our approach dynamically adapts the sub-network, avoiding premature decisions about a fixed sub-network structure. We show that our approach outperforms existing pruning methods when targeting sparse monolingual models. Further, we illustrate that Dynamic ASR Pathways jointly discovers and trains better sub-networks (pathways) of a single multilingual model by adapting from different sub-network initializations, thereby reducing the need for language-specific pruning.
This paper studies contextual biasing with Large Language Models (LLMs), where during second-pass rescoring additional contextual information is provided to a LLM to boost Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) performance. We propose to leverage prompts for a LLM without fine tuning during rescoring which incorporate a biasing list and few-shot examples to serve as additional information when calculating the score for the hypothesis. In addition to few-shot prompt learning, we propose multi-task training of the LLM to predict both the entity class and the next token. To improve the efficiency for contextual biasing and to avoid exceeding LLMs' maximum sequence lengths, we propose dynamic prompting, where we select the most likely class using the class tag prediction, and only use entities in this class as contexts for next token prediction. Word Error Rate (WER) evaluation is performed on i) an internal calling, messaging, and dictation dataset, and ii) the SLUE-Voxpopuli dataset. Results indicate that biasing lists and few-shot examples can achieve 17.8% and 9.6% relative improvement compared to first pass ASR, and that multi-task training and dynamic prompting can achieve 20.0% and 11.3% relative WER improvement, respectively.
In recent years, Large Language Models (LLMs) have garnered significant attention from the research community due to their exceptional performance and generalization capabilities. In this paper, we introduce a novel method for contextualizing speech recognition models incorporating LLMs. Our approach casts speech recognition as a mixed-modal language modeling task based on a pretrained LLM. We provide audio features, along with optional text tokens for context, to train the system to complete transcriptions in a decoder-only fashion. As a result, the system is implicitly incentivized to learn how to leverage unstructured contextual information during training. Our empirical results demonstrate a significant improvement in performance, with a 6% WER reduction when additional textual context is provided. Moreover, we find that our method performs competitively and improve by 7.5% WER overall and 17% WER on rare words against a baseline contextualized RNN-T system that has been trained on more than twenty five times larger speech dataset. Overall, we demonstrate that by only adding a handful number of trainable parameters via adapters, we can unlock contextualized speech recognition capability for the pretrained LLM while keeping the same text-only input functionality.
Spoken semantic parsing (SSP) involves generating machine-comprehensible parses from input speech. Training robust models for existing application domains represented in training data or extending to new domains requires corresponding triplets of speech-transcript-semantic parse data, which is expensive to obtain. In this paper, we address this challenge by examining methods that can use transcript-semantic parse data (unpaired text) without corresponding speech. First, when unpaired text is drawn from existing textual corpora, Joint Audio Text (JAT) and Text-to-Speech (TTS) are compared as ways to generate speech representations for unpaired text. Experiments on the STOP dataset show that unpaired text from existing and new domains improves performance by 2% and 30% in absolute Exact Match (EM) respectively. Second, we consider the setting when unpaired text is not available in existing textual corpora. We propose to prompt Large Language Models (LLMs) to generate unpaired text for existing and new domains. Experiments show that examples and words that co-occur with intents can be used to generate unpaired text with Llama 2.0. Using the generated text with JAT and TTS for spoken semantic parsing improves EM on STOP by 1.4% and 2.6% absolute for existing and new domains respectively.
Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) models need to be optimized for specific hardware before they can be deployed on devices. This can be done by tuning the model's hyperparameters or exploring variations in its architecture. Re-training and re-validating models after making these changes can be a resource-intensive task. This paper presents TODM (Train Once Deploy Many), a new approach to efficiently train many sizes of hardware-friendly on-device ASR models with comparable GPU-hours to that of a single training job. TODM leverages insights from prior work on Supernet, where Recurrent Neural Network Transducer (RNN-T) models share weights within a Supernet. It reduces layer sizes and widths of the Supernet to obtain subnetworks, making them smaller models suitable for all hardware types. We introduce a novel combination of three techniques to improve the outcomes of the TODM Supernet: adaptive dropouts, an in-place Alpha-divergence knowledge distillation, and the use of ScaledAdam optimizer. We validate our approach by comparing Supernet-trained versus individually tuned Multi-Head State Space Model (MH-SSM) RNN-T using LibriSpeech. Results demonstrate that our TODM Supernet either matches or surpasses the performance of manually tuned models by up to a relative of 3% better in word error rate (WER), while efficiently keeping the cost of training many models at a small constant.