In a noisy conversation environment such as a dinner party, people often exhibit selective auditory attention, or the ability to focus on a particular speaker while tuning out others. Recognizing who somebody is listening to in a conversation is essential for developing technologies that can understand social behavior and devices that can augment human hearing by amplifying particular sound sources. The computer vision and audio research communities have made great strides towards recognizing sound sources and speakers in scenes. In this work, we take a step further by focusing on the problem of localizing auditory attention targets in egocentric video, or detecting who in a camera wearer's field of view they are listening to. To tackle the new and challenging Selective Auditory Attention Localization problem, we propose an end-to-end deep learning approach that uses egocentric video and multichannel audio to predict the heatmap of the camera wearer's auditory attention. Our approach leverages spatiotemporal audiovisual features and holistic reasoning about the scene to make predictions, and outperforms a set of baselines on a challenging multi-speaker conversation dataset. Project page: https://fkryan.github.io/saal
We introduce the novel-view acoustic synthesis (NVAS) task: given the sight and sound observed at a source viewpoint, can we synthesize the sound of that scene from an unseen target viewpoint? We propose a neural rendering approach: Visually-Guided Acoustic Synthesis (ViGAS) network that learns to synthesize the sound of an arbitrary point in space by analyzing the input audio-visual cues. To benchmark this task, we collect two first-of-their-kind large-scale multi-view audio-visual datasets, one synthetic and one real. We show that our model successfully reasons about the spatial cues and synthesizes faithful audio on both datasets. To our knowledge, this work represents the very first formulation, dataset, and approach to solve the novel-view acoustic synthesis task, which has exciting potential applications ranging from AR/VR to art and design. Unlocked by this work, we believe that the future of novel-view synthesis is in multi-modal learning from videos.
Can conversational videos captured from multiple egocentric viewpoints reveal the map of a scene in a cost-efficient way? We seek to answer this question by proposing a new problem: efficiently building the map of a previously unseen 3D environment by exploiting shared information in the egocentric audio-visual observations of participants in a natural conversation. Our hypothesis is that as multiple people ("egos") move in a scene and talk among themselves, they receive rich audio-visual cues that can help uncover the unseen areas of the scene. Given the high cost of continuously processing egocentric visual streams, we further explore how to actively coordinate the sampling of visual information, so as to minimize redundancy and reduce power use. To that end, we present an audio-visual deep reinforcement learning approach that works with our shared scene mapper to selectively turn on the camera to efficiently chart out the space. We evaluate the approach using a state-of-the-art audio-visual simulator for 3D scenes as well as real-world video. Our model outperforms previous state-of-the-art mapping methods, and achieves an excellent cost-accuracy tradeoff. Project: http://vision.cs.utexas.edu/projects/chat2map.
Audio-visual speech enhancement aims to extract clean speech from a noisy environment by leveraging not only the audio itself but also the target speaker's lip movements. This approach has been shown to yield improvements over audio-only speech enhancement, particularly for the removal of interfering speech. Despite recent advances in speech synthesis, most audio-visual approaches continue to use spectral mapping/masking to reproduce the clean audio, often resulting in visual backbones added to existing speech enhancement architectures. In this work, we propose LA-VocE, a new two-stage approach that predicts mel-spectrograms from noisy audio-visual speech via a transformer-based architecture, and then converts them into waveform audio using a neural vocoder (HiFi-GAN). We train and evaluate our framework on thousands of speakers and 11+ different languages, and study our model's ability to adapt to different levels of background noise and speech interference. Our experiments show that LA-VocE outperforms existing methods according to multiple metrics, particularly under very noisy scenarios.
Most speech enhancement (SE) models learn a point estimate, and do not make use of uncertainty estimation in the learning process. In this paper, we show that modeling heteroscedastic uncertainty by minimizing a multivariate Gaussian negative log-likelihood (NLL) improves SE performance at no extra cost. During training, our approach augments a model learning complex spectral mapping with a temporary submodel to predict the covariance of the enhancement error at each time-frequency bin. Due to unrestricted heteroscedastic uncertainty, the covariance introduces an undersampling effect, detrimental to SE performance. To mitigate undersampling, our approach inflates the uncertainty lower bound and weights each loss component with their uncertainty, effectively compensating severely undersampled components with more penalties. Our multivariate setting reveals common covariance assumptions such as scalar and diagonal matrices. By weakening these assumptions, we show that the NLL achieves superior performance compared to popular losses including the mean squared error (MSE), mean absolute error (MAE), and scale-invariant signal-to-distortion ratio (SI-SDR).
We propose to characterize and improve the performance of blind room impulse response (RIR) estimation systems in the context of a downstream application scenario, far-field automatic speech recognition (ASR). We first draw the connection between improved RIR estimation and improved ASR performance, as a means of evaluating neural RIR estimators. We then propose a GAN-based architecture that encodes RIR features from reverberant speech and constructs an RIR from the encoded features, and uses a novel energy decay relief loss to optimize for capturing energy-based properties of the input reverberant speech. We show that our model outperforms the state-of-the-art baselines on acoustic benchmarks (by 72% on the energy decay relief and 22% on an early-reflection energy metric), as well as in an ASR evaluation task (by 6.9% in word error rate).
We present RemixIT, a simple yet effective self-supervised method for training speech enhancement without the need of a single isolated in-domain speech nor a noise waveform. Our approach overcomes limitations of previous methods which make them dependent on clean in-domain target signals and thus, sensitive to any domain mismatch between train and test samples. RemixIT is based on a continuous self-training scheme in which a pre-trained teacher model on out-of-domain data infers estimated pseudo-target signals for in-domain mixtures. Then, by permuting the estimated clean and noise signals and remixing them together, we generate a new set of bootstrapped mixtures and corresponding pseudo-targets which are used to train the student network. Vice-versa, the teacher periodically refines its estimates using the updated parameters of the latest student models. Experimental results on multiple speech enhancement datasets and tasks not only show the superiority of our method over prior approaches but also showcase that RemixIT can be combined with any separation model as well as be applied towards any semi-supervised and unsupervised domain adaptation task. Our analysis, paired with empirical evidence, sheds light on the inside functioning of our self-training scheme wherein the student model keeps obtaining better performance while observing severely degraded pseudo-targets.
Impulse response estimation in high noise and in-the-wild settings, with minimal control of the underlying data distributions, is a challenging problem. We propose a novel framework for parameterizing and estimating impulse responses based on recent advances in neural representation learning. Our framework is driven by a carefully designed neural network that jointly estimates the impulse response and the (apriori unknown) spectral noise characteristics of an observed signal given the source signal. We demonstrate robustness in estimation, even under low signal-to-noise ratios, and show strong results when learning from spatio-temporal real-world speech data. Our framework provides a natural way to interpolate impulse responses on a spatial grid, while also allowing for efficiently compressing and storing them for real-time rendering applications in augmented and virtual reality.
Augmented reality devices have the potential to enhance human perception and enable other assistive functionalities in complex conversational environments. Effectively capturing the audio-visual context necessary for understanding these social interactions first requires detecting and localizing the voice activities of the device wearer and the surrounding people. These tasks are challenging due to their egocentric nature: the wearer's head motion may cause motion blur, surrounding people may appear in difficult viewing angles, and there may be occlusions, visual clutter, audio noise, and bad lighting. Under these conditions, previous state-of-the-art active speaker detection methods do not give satisfactory results. Instead, we tackle the problem from a new setting using both video and multi-channel microphone array audio. We propose a novel end-to-end deep learning approach that is able to give robust voice activity detection and localization results. In contrast to previous methods, our method localizes active speakers from all possible directions on the sphere, even outside the camera's field of view, while simultaneously detecting the device wearer's own voice activity. Our experiments show that the proposed method gives superior results, can run in real time, and is robust against noise and clutter.
We introduce Ego4D, a massive-scale egocentric video dataset and benchmark suite. It offers 3,025 hours of daily-life activity video spanning hundreds of scenarios (household, outdoor, workplace, leisure, etc.) captured by 855 unique camera wearers from 74 worldwide locations and 9 different countries. The approach to collection is designed to uphold rigorous privacy and ethics standards with consenting participants and robust de-identification procedures where relevant. Ego4D dramatically expands the volume of diverse egocentric video footage publicly available to the research community. Portions of the video are accompanied by audio, 3D meshes of the environment, eye gaze, stereo, and/or synchronized videos from multiple egocentric cameras at the same event. Furthermore, we present a host of new benchmark challenges centered around understanding the first-person visual experience in the past (querying an episodic memory), present (analyzing hand-object manipulation, audio-visual conversation, and social interactions), and future (forecasting activities). By publicly sharing this massive annotated dataset and benchmark suite, we aim to push the frontier of first-person perception. Project page: https://ego4d-data.org/