This paper presents the design, implementation and evaluation of a speech editing system, named EditSpeech, which allows a user to perform deletion, insertion and replacement of words in a given speech utterance, without causing audible degradation in speech quality and naturalness. The EditSpeech system is developed upon a neural text-to-speech (NTTS) synthesis framework. Partial inference and bidirectional fusion are proposed to effectively incorporate the contextual information related to the edited region and achieve smooth transition at both left and right boundaries. Distortion introduced to the unmodified parts of the utterance is alleviated. The EditSpeech system is developed and evaluated on English and Chinese in multi-speaker scenarios. Objective and subjective evaluation demonstrate that EditSpeech outperforms a few baseline systems in terms of low spectral distortion and preferred speech quality. Audio samples are available online for demonstration https://daxintan-cuhk.github.io/EditSpeech/ .
We study the detection of propagandistic text fragments in news articles. Instead of merely learning from input-output datapoints in training data, we introduce an approach to inject declarative knowledge of fine-grained propaganda techniques. We leverage declarative knowledge expressed in both natural language and first-order logic. The former refers to the literal definition of each propaganda technique, which is utilized to get class representations for regularizing the model parameters. The latter refers to logical consistency between coarse- and fine- grained predictions, which is used to regularize the training process with propositional Boolean expressions. We conduct experiments on Propaganda Techniques Corpus, a large manually annotated dataset for fine-grained propaganda detection. Experiments show that our method achieves superior performance, demonstrating that injecting declarative knowledge expressed in both natural language and first-order logic can help the model to make more accurate predictions.
Extreme Multi-label Text Classification (XMTC) has been a tough challenge in machine learning research and applications due to the sheer sizes of the label spaces and the severe data scarce problem associated with the long tail of rare labels in highly skewed distributions. This paper addresses the challenge of tail label prediction by proposing a novel approach, which combines the effectiveness of a trained bag-of-words (BoW) classifier in generating informative label descriptions under severe data scarce conditions, and the power of neural embedding based retrieval models in mapping input documents (as queries) to relevant label descriptions. The proposed approach achieves state-of-the-art performance on XMTC benchmark datasets and significantly outperforms the best methods so far in the tail label prediction. We also provide a theoretical analysis for relating the BoW and neural models w.r.t. performance lower bound.
We propose an end-to-end neural model for zero-shot abstractive text summarization of paragraphs, and introduce a benchmark task, ROCSumm, based on ROCStories, a subset for which we collected human summaries. In this task, five-sentence stories (paragraphs) are summarized with one sentence, using human summaries only for evaluation. We show results for extractive and human baselines to demonstrate a large abstractive gap in performance. Our model, SummAE, consists of a denoising auto-encoder that embeds sentences and paragraphs in a common space, from which either can be decoded. Summaries for paragraphs are generated by decoding a sentence from the paragraph representations. We find that traditional sequence-to-sequence auto-encoders fail to produce good summaries and describe how specific architectural choices and pre-training techniques can significantly improve performance, outperforming extractive baselines. The data, training, evaluation code, and best model weights are open-sourced.
We propose a novel and simple method for semi-supervised text classification. The method starts from a hypothesis that a classifier with pretrained word embeddings always outperforms the same classifier with randomly initialized word embeddings, as empirically observed in NLP tasks. Our method first builds two sets of classifiers as a form of model ensemble, and then initializes their word embeddings differently: one using random, the other using pretrained word embeddings. We focus on different predictions between the two classifiers on unlabeled data while following the self-training framework. We also introduce label refinement and early-stopping in meta-epoch for better confidence on the label-by-prediction. We experiment on 4 different classification datasets, showing that our method performs better than the method using only the training set. Delta-training also outperforms the conventional self-training method in multi-class classification, showing robust performance against error accumulation.
In this paper, we propose a high-quality generative text-to-speech (TTS) system using an effective spectrum and excitation estimation method. Our previous research verified the effectiveness of the ExcitNet-based speech generation model in a parametric TTS framework. However, the challenge remains to build a high-quality speech synthesis system because auxiliary conditional features estimated by a simple deep neural network often contain large prediction errors, and the errors are inevitably propagated throughout the autoregressive generation process of the ExcitNet vocoder. To generate more natural speech signals, we exploited a sequence-to-sequence (seq2seq) acoustic model with an attention-based generative network (e.g., Tacotron 2) to estimate the condition parameters of the ExcitNet vocoder. Because the seq2seq acoustic model accurately estimates spectral parameters, and because the ExcitNet model effectively generates the corresponding time-domain excitation signals, combining these two models can synthesize natural speech signals. Furthermore, we verified the merit of the proposed method in producing expressive speech segments by adopting a global style token-based emotion embedding method. The experimental results confirmed that the proposed system significantly outperforms the systems with a similarly configured conventional WaveNet vocoder and our best prior parametric TTS counterpart.
Text encoders based on C-DSSM or transformers have demonstrated strong performance in many Natural Language Processing (NLP) tasks. Low latency variants of these models have also been developed in recent years in order to apply them in the field of sponsored search which has strict computational constraints. However these models are not the panacea to solve all the Natural Language Understanding (NLU) challenges as the pure semantic information in the data is not sufficient to fully identify the user intents. We propose the TextGNN model that naturally extends the strong twin tower structured encoders with the complementary graph information from user historical behaviors, which serves as a natural guide to help us better understand the intents and hence generate better language representations. The model inherits all the benefits of twin tower models such as C-DSSM and TwinBERT so that it can still be used in the low latency environment while achieving a significant performance gain than the strong encoder-only counterpart baseline models in both offline evaluations and online production system. In offline experiments, the model achieves a 0.14% overall increase in ROC-AUC with a 1% increased accuracy for long-tail low-frequency Ads, and in the online A/B testing, the model shows a 2.03% increase in Revenue Per Mille with a 2.32% decrease in Ad defect rate.
This paper describes a novel text-to-speech (TTS) technique based on deep convolutional neural networks (CNN), without any recurrent units. Recurrent neural network (RNN) has been a standard technique to model sequential data recently, and this technique has been used in some cutting-edge neural TTS techniques. However, training RNN component often requires a very powerful computer, or very long time typically several days or weeks. Recent other studies, on the other hand, have shown that CNN-based sequence synthesis can be much faster than RNN-based techniques, because of high parallelizability. The objective of this paper is to show an alternative neural TTS system, based only on CNN, that can alleviate these economic costs of training. In our experiment, the proposed Deep Convolutional TTS can be sufficiently trained only in a night (15 hours), using an ordinary gaming PC equipped with two GPUs, while the quality of the synthesized speech was almost acceptable.
In this letter, we propose a vocal tract length (VTL) perturbation method for text-dependent speaker verification (TD-SV), in which a set of TD-SV systems are trained, one for each VTL factor, and score-level fusion is applied to make a final decision. Next, we explore the bottleneck (BN) feature extracted by training deep neural networks with a self-supervised objective, autoregressive predictive coding (APC), for TD-SV and compare it with the well-studied speaker-discriminant BN feature. The proposed VTL method is then applied to APC and speaker-discriminant BN features. In the end, we combine the VTL perturbation systems trained on MFCC and the two BN features in the score domain. Experiments are performed on the RedDots challenge 2016 database of TD-SV using short utterances with Gaussian mixture model-universal background model and i-vector techniques. Results show the proposed methods significantly outperform the baselines.