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"speech": models, code, and papers

Learning to Speak Fluently in a Foreign Language: Multilingual Speech Synthesis and Cross-Language Voice Cloning

Jul 09, 2019
Yu Zhang, Ron J. Weiss, Heiga Zen, Yonghui Wu, Zhifeng Chen, RJ Skerry-Ryan, Ye Jia, Andrew Rosenberg, Bhuvana Ramabhadran

We present a multispeaker, multilingual text-to-speech (TTS) synthesis model based on Tacotron that is able to produce high quality speech in multiple languages. Moreover, the model is able to transfer voices across languages, e.g. synthesize fluent Spanish speech using an English speaker's voice, without training on any bilingual or parallel examples. Such transfer works across distantly related languages, e.g. English and Mandarin. Critical to achieving this result are: 1. using a phonemic input representation to encourage sharing of model capacity across languages, and 2. incorporating an adversarial loss term to encourage the model to disentangle its representation of speaker identity (which is perfectly correlated with language in the training data) from the speech content. Further scaling up the model by training on multiple speakers of each language, and incorporating an autoencoding input to help stabilize attention during training, results in a model which can be used to consistently synthesize intelligible speech for training speakers in all languages seen during training, and in native or foreign accents.

* 5 pages, submitted to Interspeech 2019 

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Dual-Path Modeling for Long Recording Speech Separation in Meetings

Feb 23, 2021
Chenda Li, Zhuo Chen, Yi Luo, Cong Han, Tianyan Zhou, Keisuke Kinoshita, Marc Delcroix, Shinji Watanabe, Yanmin Qian

The continuous speech separation (CSS) is a task to separate the speech sources from a long, partially overlapped recording, which involves a varying number of speakers. A straightforward extension of conventional utterance-level speech separation to the CSS task is to segment the long recording with a size-fixed window and process each window separately. Though effective, this extension fails to model the long dependency in speech and thus leads to sub-optimum performance. The recent proposed dual-path modeling could be a remedy to this problem, thanks to its capability in jointly modeling the cross-window dependency and the local-window processing. In this work, we further extend the dual-path modeling framework for CSS task. A transformer-based dual-path system is proposed, which integrates transform layers for global modeling. The proposed models are applied to LibriCSS, a real recorded multi-talk dataset, and consistent WER reduction can be observed in the ASR evaluation for separated speech. Also, a dual-path transformer equipped with convolutional layers is proposed. It significantly reduces the computation amount by 30% with better WER evaluation. Furthermore, the online processing dual-path models are investigated, which shows 10% relative WER reduction compared to the baseline.

* Accepted by ICASSP 2021 

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TERA: Self-Supervised Learning of Transformer Encoder Representation for Speech

Jul 12, 2020
Andy T. Liu, Shang-Wen Li, Hung-yi Lee

We introduce a self-supervised speech pre-training method called TERA, which stands for Transformer Encoder Representations from Alteration. Recent approaches often learn through the formulation of a single auxiliary task like contrastive prediction, autoregressive prediction, or masked reconstruction. Unlike previous approaches, we use a multi-target auxiliary task to pre-train Transformer Encoders on a large amount of unlabeled speech. The model learns through the reconstruction of acoustic frames from its altered counterpart, where we use a stochastic policy to alter along three dimensions: temporal, channel, and magnitude. TERA can be used to extract speech representations or fine-tune with downstream models. We evaluate TERA on several downstream tasks, including phoneme classification, speaker recognition, and speech recognition. TERA achieved strong performance on these tasks by improving upon surface features and outperforming previous methods. In our experiments, we show that through alteration along different dimensions, the model learns to encode distinct aspects of speech. We explore different knowledge transfer methods to incorporate the pre-trained model with downstream models. Furthermore, we show that the proposed method can be easily transferred to another dataset not used in pre-training.

* Submitted to IEEE TASLP, currently under review 

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Improving Accent Conversion with Reference Encoder and End-To-End Text-To-Speech

May 19, 2020
Wenjie Li, Benlai Tang, Xiang Yin, Yushi Zhao, Wei Li, Kang Wang, Hao Huang, Yuxuan Wang, Zejun Ma

Accent conversion (AC) transforms a non-native speaker's accent into a native accent while maintaining the speaker's voice timbre. In this paper, we propose approaches to improving accent conversion applicability, as well as quality. First of all, we assume no reference speech is available at the conversion stage, and hence we employ an end-to-end text-to-speech system that is trained on native speech to generate native reference speech. To improve the quality and accent of the converted speech, we introduce reference encoders which make us capable of utilizing multi-source information. This is motivated by acoustic features extracted from native reference and linguistic information, which are complementary to conventional phonetic posteriorgrams (PPGs), so they can be concatenated as features to improve a baseline system based only on PPGs. Moreover, we optimize model architecture using GMM-based attention instead of windowed attention to elevate synthesized performance. Experimental results indicate when the proposed techniques are applied the integrated system significantly raises the scores of acoustic quality (30$\%$ relative increase in mean opinion score) and native accent (68$\%$ relative preference) while retaining the voice identity of the non-native speaker.

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Articulatory information and Multiview Features for Large Vocabulary Continuous Speech Recognition

Feb 16, 2018
Vikramjit Mitra, Wen Wang, Chris Bartels, Horacio Franco, Dimitra Vergyri

This paper explores the use of multi-view features and their discriminative transforms in a convolutional deep neural network (CNN) architecture for a continuous large vocabulary speech recognition task. Mel-filterbank energies and perceptually motivated forced damped oscillator coefficient (DOC) features are used after feature-space maximum-likelihood linear regression (fMLLR) transforms, which are combined and fed as a multi-view feature to a single CNN acoustic model. Use of multi-view feature representation demonstrated significant reduction in word error rates (WERs) compared to the use of individual features by themselves. In addition, when articulatory information was used as an additional input to a fused deep neural network (DNN) and CNN acoustic model, it was found to demonstrate further reduction in WER for the Switchboard subset and the CallHome subset (containing partly non-native accented speech) of the NIST 2000 conversational telephone speech test set, reducing the error rate by 12% relative to the baseline in both cases. This work shows that multi-view features in association with articulatory information can improve speech recognition robustness to spontaneous and non-native speech.

* 5 pages 

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Leveraging Pre-trained Language Model for Speech Sentiment Analysis

Jun 11, 2021
Suwon Shon, Pablo Brusco, Jing Pan, Kyu J. Han, Shinji Watanabe

In this paper, we explore the use of pre-trained language models to learn sentiment information of written texts for speech sentiment analysis. First, we investigate how useful a pre-trained language model would be in a 2-step pipeline approach employing Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) and transcripts-based sentiment analysis separately. Second, we propose a pseudo label-based semi-supervised training strategy using a language model on an end-to-end speech sentiment approach to take advantage of a large, but unlabeled speech dataset for training. Although spoken and written texts have different linguistic characteristics, they can complement each other in understanding sentiment. Therefore, the proposed system can not only model acoustic characteristics to bear sentiment-specific information in speech signals, but learn latent information to carry sentiments in the text representation. In these experiments, we demonstrate the proposed approaches improve F1 scores consistently compared to systems without a language model. Moreover, we also show that the proposed framework can reduce 65% of human supervision by leveraging a large amount of data without human sentiment annotation and boost performance in a low-resource condition where the human sentiment annotation is not available enough.

* To appear in Interspeech 2021 

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Audio-visual Multi-channel Recognition of Overlapped Speech

May 18, 2020
Jianwei Yu, Bo Wu, Rongzhi Gu Shi-Xiong Zhang Lianwu Chen Yong Xu Meng Yu, Dan Su, Dong Yu, Xunying Liu, Helen Meng

Automatic speech recognition (ASR) of overlapped speech remains a highly challenging task to date. To this end, multi-channel microphone array data are widely used in state-of-the-art ASR systems. Motivated by the invariance of visual modality to acoustic signal corruption, this paper presents an audio-visual multi-channel overlapped speech recognition system featuring tightly integrated separation front-end and recognition back-end. A series of audio-visual multi-channel speech separation front-end components based on \textit{TF masking}, \textit{filter\&sum} and \textit{mask-based MVDR} beamforming approaches were developed. To reduce the error cost mismatch between the separation and recognition components, they were jointly fine-tuned using the connectionist temporal classification (CTC) loss function, or a multi-task criterion interpolation with scale-invariant signal to noise ratio (Si-SNR) error cost. Experiments suggest that the proposed multi-channel AVSR system outperforms the baseline audio-only ASR system by up to 6.81\% (26.83\% relative) and 22.22\% (56.87\% relative) absolute word error rate (WER) reduction on overlapped speech constructed using either simulation or replaying of the lipreading sentence 2 (LRS2) dataset respectively.

* submitted to Interspeech 2020 

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Multi-view Temporal Alignment for Non-parallel Articulatory-to-Acoustic Speech Synthesis

Dec 30, 2020
Jose A. Gonzalez-Lopez, Miriam Gonzalez-Atienza, Alejandro Gomez-Alanis, Jose L. Perez-Cordoba, Phil D. Green

Articulatory-to-acoustic (A2A) synthesis refers to the generation of audible speech from captured movement of the speech articulators. This technique has numerous applications, such as restoring oral communication to people who cannot longer speak due to illness or injury. Most successful techniques so far adopt a supervised learning framework, in which time-synchronous articulatory-and-speech recordings are used to train a supervised machine learning algorithm that can be used later to map articulator movements to speech. This, however, prevents the application of A2A techniques in cases where parallel data is unavailable, e.g., a person has already lost her/his voice and only articulatory data can be captured. In this work, we propose a solution to this problem based on the theory of multi-view learning. The proposed algorithm attempts to find an optimal temporal alignment between pairs of non-aligned articulatory-and-acoustic sequences with the same phonetic content by projecting them into a common latent space where both views are maximally correlated and then applying dynamic time warping. Several variants of this idea are discussed and explored. We show that the quality of speech generated in the non-aligned scenario is comparable to that obtained in the parallel scenario.

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CLSRIL-23: Cross Lingual Speech Representations for Indic Languages

Jul 15, 2021
Anirudh Gupta, Harveen Singh Chadha, Priyanshi Shah, Neeraj Chimmwal, Ankur Dhuriya, Rishabh Gaur, Vivek Raghavan

We present a CLSRIL-23, a self supervised learning based audio pre-trained model which learns cross lingual speech representations from raw audio across 23 Indic languages. It is built on top of wav2vec 2.0 which is solved by training a contrastive task over masked latent speech representations and jointly learns the quantization of latents shared across all languages. We compare the language wise loss during pretraining to compare effects of monolingual and multilingual pretraining. Performance on some downstream fine-tuning tasks for speech recognition is also compared and our experiments show that multilingual pretraining outperforms monolingual training, in terms of learning speech representations which encodes phonetic similarity of languages and also in terms of performance on down stream tasks. A decrease of 5% is observed in WER and 9.5% in CER when a multilingual pretrained model is used for finetuning in Hindi. All the code models are also open sourced. CLSRIL-23 is a model trained on $23$ languages and almost 10,000 hours of audio data to facilitate research in speech recognition for Indic languages. We hope that new state of the art systems will be created using the self supervised approach, especially for low resources Indic languages.

* 7 pages, 2 figures 

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Analysis of EEG frequency bands for Envisioned Speech Recognition

Mar 29, 2022
Ayush Tripathi

The use of Automatic speech recognition (ASR) interfaces have become increasingly popular in daily life for use in interaction and control of electronic devices. The interfaces currently being used are not feasible for a variety of users such as those suffering from a speech disorder, locked-in syndrome, paralysis or people with utmost privacy requirements. In such cases, an interface that can identify envisioned speech using electroencephalogram (EEG) signals can be of great benefit. Various works targeting this problem have been done in the past. However, there has been limited work in identifying the frequency bands ($\delta, \theta, \alpha, \beta, \gamma$) of the EEG signal that contribute towards envisioned speech recognition. Therefore, in this work, we aim to analyze the significance of different EEG frequency bands and signals obtained from different lobes of the brain and their contribution towards recognizing envisioned speech. Signals obtained from different lobes and bandpass filtered for different frequency bands are fed to a spatio-temporal deep learning architecture with Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) and Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM). The performance is evaluated on a publicly available dataset comprising of three classification tasks - digit, character and images. We obtain a classification accuracy of $85.93\%$, $87.27\%$ and $87.51\%$ for the three tasks respectively. The code for the implementation has been made available at

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