We describe a method to jointly pre-train speech and text in an encoder-decoder modeling framework for speech translation and recognition. The proposed method incorporates four self-supervised and supervised subtasks for cross modality learning. A self-supervised speech subtask leverages unlabelled speech data, and a (self-)supervised text to text subtask makes use of abundant text training data. Two auxiliary supervised speech tasks are included to unify speech and text modeling space. Our contribution lies in integrating linguistic information from the text corpus into the speech pre-training. Detailed analysis reveals learning interference among subtasks. Two pre-training configurations for speech translation and recognition, respectively, are presented to alleviate subtask interference. Our experiments show the proposed method can effectively fuse speech and text information into one model. It achieves between 1.7 and 2.3 BLEU improvement above the state of the art on the MuST-C speech translation dataset and comparable WERs to wav2vec 2.0 on the Librispeech speech recognition task.
We present an attention-based sequence-to-sequence neural network which can directly translate speech from one language into speech in another language, without relying on an intermediate text representation. The network is trained end-to-end, learning to map speech spectrograms into target spectrograms in another language, corresponding to the translated content (in a different canonical voice). We further demonstrate the ability to synthesize translated speech using the voice of the source speaker. We conduct experiments on two Spanish-to-English speech translation datasets, and find that the proposed model slightly underperforms a baseline cascade of a direct speech-to-text translation model and a text-to-speech synthesis model, demonstrating the feasibility of the approach on this very challenging task.
In this paper, we explore a method for training speech-to-speech translation tasks without any transcription or linguistic supervision. Our proposed method consists of two steps: First, we train and generate discrete representation with unsupervised term discovery with a discrete quantized autoencoder. Second, we train a sequence-to-sequence model that directly maps the source language speech to the target language's discrete representation. Our proposed method can directly generate target speech without any auxiliary or pre-training steps with a source or target transcription. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first work that performed pure speech-to-speech translation between untranscribed unknown languages.
Most neural text-to-speech (TTS) models require paired data from the desired speaker for high-quality speech synthesis, which limits the usage of large amounts of untranscribed data for training. In this work, we present Guided-TTS, a high-quality TTS model that learns to generate speech from untranscribed speech data. Guided-TTS combines an unconditional diffusion probabilistic model with a separately trained phoneme classifier for text-to-speech. By modeling the unconditional distribution for speech, our model can utilize the untranscribed data for training. For text-to-speech synthesis, we guide the generative process of the unconditional DDPM via phoneme classification to produce mel-spectrograms from the conditional distribution given transcript. We show that Guided-TTS achieves comparable performance with the existing methods without any transcript for LJSpeech. Our results further show that a single speaker-dependent phoneme classifier trained on multispeaker large-scale data can guide unconditional DDPMs for various speakers to perform TTS.
Existing speech to speech translation systems heavily rely on the text of target language: they usually translate source language either to target text and then synthesize target speech from text, or directly to target speech with target text for auxiliary training. However, those methods cannot be applied to unwritten target languages, which have no written text or phoneme available. In this paper, we develop a translation system for unwritten languages, named as UWSpeech, which converts target unwritten speech into discrete tokens with a converter, and then translates source-language speech into target discrete tokens with a translator, and finally synthesizes target speech from target discrete tokens with an inverter. We propose a method called XL-VAE, which enhances vector quantized variational autoencoder (VQ-VAE) with cross-lingual (XL) speech recognition, to train the converter and inverter of UWSpeech jointly. Experiments on Fisher Spanish-English conversation translation dataset show that UWSpeech outperforms direct translation and VQ-VAE baseline by about 16 and 10 BLEU points respectively, which demonstrate the advantages and potentials of UWSpeech.
Psychoacoustic studies have shown that locally-time reversed (LTR) speech, i.e., signal samples time-reversed within a short segment, can be accurately recognised by human listeners. This study addresses the question of how well a state-of-the-art automatic speech recognition (ASR) system would perform on LTR speech. The underlying objective is to explore the feasibility of deploying LTR speech in the training of end-to-end (E2E) ASR models, as an attempt to data augmentation for improving the recognition performance. The investigation starts with experiments to understand the effect of LTR speech on general-purpose ASR. LTR speech with reversed segment duration of 5 ms - 50 ms is rendered and evaluated. For ASR training data augmentation with LTR speech, training sets are created by combining natural speech with different partitions of LTR speech. The efficacy of data augmentation is confirmed by ASR results on speech corpora in various languages and speaking styles. ASR on LTR speech with reversed segment duration of 15 ms - 30 ms is found to have lower error rate than with other segment duration. Data augmentation with these LTR speech achieves satisfactory and consistent improvement on ASR performance.
We present a textless speech-to-speech translation (S2ST) system that can translate speech from one language into another language and can be built without the need of any text data. Different from existing work in the literature, we tackle the challenge in modeling multi-speaker target speech and train the systems with real-world S2ST data. The key to our approach is a self-supervised unit-based speech normalization technique, which finetunes a pre-trained speech encoder with paired audios from multiple speakers and a single reference speaker to reduce the variations due to accents, while preserving the lexical content. With only 10 minutes of paired data for speech normalization, we obtain on average 3.2 BLEU gain when training the S2ST model on the \vp~S2ST dataset, compared to a baseline trained on un-normalized speech target. We also incorporate automatically mined S2ST data and show an additional 2.0 BLEU gain. To our knowledge, we are the first to establish a textless S2ST technique that can be trained with real-world data and works for multiple language pairs.
Speech enhancement has recently achieved great success with various deep learning methods. However, most conventional speech enhancement systems are trained with supervised methods that impose two significant challenges. First, a majority of training datasets for speech enhancement systems are synthetic. When mixing clean speech and noisy corpora to create the synthetic datasets, domain mismatches occur between synthetic and real-world recordings of noisy speech or audio. Second, there is a trade-off between increasing speech enhancement performance and degrading speech recognition (ASR) performance. Thus, we propose an unsupervised loss function to tackle those two problems. Our function is developed by extending the MixIT loss function with speech recognition embedding and disentanglement loss. Our results show that the proposed function effectively improves the speech enhancement performance compared to a baseline trained in a supervised way on the noisy VoxCeleb dataset. While fully unsupervised training is unable to exceed the corresponding baseline, with joint super- and unsupervised training, the system is able to achieve similar speech quality and better ASR performance than the best supervised baseline.