This paper presents an overview and evaluation of some of the end-to-end ASR models on long-form audios. We study three categories of Automatic Speech Recognition(ASR) models based on their core architecture: (1) convolutional, (2) convolutional with squeeze-and-excitation and (3) convolutional models with attention. We selected one ASR model from each category and evaluated Word Error Rate, maximum audio length and real-time factor for each model on a variety of long audio benchmarks: Earnings-21 and 22, CORAAL, and TED-LIUM3. The model from the category of self-attention with local attention and global token has the best accuracy comparing to other architectures. We also compared models with CTC and RNNT decoders and showed that CTC-based models are more robust and efficient than RNNT on long form audio.
Conformer-based models have become the most dominant end-to-end architecture for speech processing tasks. In this work, we propose a carefully redesigned Conformer with a new down-sampling schema. The proposed model, named Fast Conformer, is 2.8x faster than original Conformer, while preserving state-of-the-art accuracy on Automatic Speech Recognition benchmarks. Also we replace the original Conformer global attention with limited context attention post-training to enable transcription of an hour-long audio. We further improve long-form speech transcription by adding a global token. Fast Conformer combined with a Transformer decoder also outperforms the original Conformer in accuracy and in speed for Speech Translation and Spoken Language Understanding.
In this paper, we extend previous self-supervised approaches for language identification by experimenting with Conformer based architecture in a multilingual pre-training paradigm. We find that pre-trained speech models optimally encode language discriminatory information in lower layers. Further, we demonstrate that the embeddings obtained from these layers are significantly robust to classify unseen languages and different acoustic environments without additional training. After fine-tuning a pre-trained Conformer model on the VoxLingua107 dataset, we achieve results similar to current state-of-the-art systems for language identification. More, our model accomplishes this with 5x less parameters. We open-source the model through the NVIDIA NeMo toolkit.
NeMo (Neural Modules) is a Python framework-agnostic toolkit for creating AI applications through re-usability, abstraction, and composition. NeMo is built around neural modules, conceptual blocks of neural networks that take typed inputs and produce typed outputs. Such modules typically represent data layers, encoders, decoders, language models, loss functions, or methods of combining activations. NeMo makes it easy to combine and re-use these building blocks while providing a level of semantic correctness checking via its neural type system. The toolkit comes with extendable collections of pre-built modules for automatic speech recognition and natural language processing. Furthermore, NeMo provides built-in support for distributed training and mixed precision on latest NVIDIA GPUs. NeMo is open-source https://github.com/NVIDIA/NeMo