A common approach to the automatic detection of mispronunciation works by recognizing the phonemes produced by a student and comparing it to the expected pronunciation of a native speaker. This approach makes two simplifying assumptions: a) phonemes can be recognized from speech with high accuracy, b) there is a single correct way for a sentence to be pronounced. These assumptions do not always hold which can result in a significant amount of false mispronunciation alarms. We propose a novel approach to overcome this problem based on two principles: a) taking into account uncertainty in the automatic phoneme recognition step, b) accounting for the fact that there may be multiple valid pronunciations. We evaluate the model on non-native (L2) English speech of German, Italian and Polish speakers, where it is shown to increase the precision of detecting mispronunciations by up to 18\% (relative) compared to the common approach.
This paper addresses the problem of estimating the voice source directly from speech waveforms. A novel principle based on Anticausality Dominated Regions (ACDR) is used to estimate the glottal open phase. This technique is compared to two other state-of-the-art well-known methods, namely the Zeros of the Z-Transform (ZZT) and the Iterative Adaptive Inverse Filtering (IAIF) algorithms. Decomposition quality is assessed on synthetic signals through two objective measures: the spectral distortion and a glottal formant determination rate. Technique robustness is tested by analyzing the influence of noise and Glottal Closure Instant (GCI) location errors. Besides impacts of the fundamental frequency and the first formant on the performance are evaluated. Our proposed approach shows significant improvement in robustness, which could be of a great interest when decomposing real speech.
Speech recognition and other natural language tasks have long benefited from voting-based algorithms as a method to aggregate outputs from several systems to achieve a higher accuracy than any of the individual systems. Diarization, the task of segmenting an audio stream into speaker-homogeneous and co-indexed regions, has so far not seen the benefit of this strategy because the structure of the task does not lend itself to a simple voting approach. This paper presents DOVER (diarization output voting error reduction), an algorithm for weighted voting among diarization hypotheses, in the spirit of the ROVER algorithm for combining speech recognition hypotheses. We evaluate the algorithm for diarization of meeting recordings with multiple microphones, and find that it consistently reduces diarization error rate over the average of results from individual channels, and often improves on the single best channel chosen by an oracle.
Automatic email categorization is an important application of text classification. We study the automatic reply of email business messages in Brazilian Portuguese. We present a novel corpus containing messages from a real application, and baseline categorization experiments using Naive Bayes and support Vector Machines. We then discuss the effect of lemmatization and the role of part-of-speech tagging filtering on precision and recall. Support Vector Machines classification coupled with nonlemmatized selection of verbs, nouns and adjectives was the best approach, with 87.3% maximum accuracy. Straightforward lemmatization in Portuguese led to the lowest classification results in the group, with 85.3% and 81.7% precision in SVM and Naive Bayes respectively. Thus, while lemmatization reduced precision and recall, part-of-speech filtering improved overall results.
The end-to-end TTS, which can predict speech directly from a given sequence of graphemes or phonemes, has shown improved performance over the conventional TTS. However, its predicting capability is still limited by the acoustic/phonetic coverage of the training data, usually constrained by the training set size. To further improve the TTS quality in pronunciation, prosody and perceived naturalness, we propose to exploit the information embedded in a syntactically parsed tree where the inter-phrase/word information of a sentence is organized in a multilevel tree structure. Specifically, two key features: phrase structure and relations between adjacent words are investigated. Experimental results in subjective listening, measured on three test sets, show that the proposed approach is effective to improve the pronunciation clarity, prosody and naturalness of the synthesized speech of the baseline system.
A sequence-to-sequence model is a neural network module for mapping two sequences of different lengths. The sequence-to-sequence model has three core modules: encoder, decoder, and attention. Attention is the bridge that connects the encoder and decoder modules and improves model performance in many tasks. In this paper, we propose two ideas to improve sequence-to-sequence model performance by enhancing the attention module. First, we maintain the history of the location and the expected context from several previous time-steps. Second, we apply multiscale convolution from several previous attention vectors to the current decoder state. We utilized our proposed framework for sequence-to-sequence speech recognition and text-to-speech systems. The results reveal that our proposed extension could improve performance significantly compared to a standard attention baseline.
This paper presents a new approach for end-to-end audio-visual multi-talker speech recognition. The approach, referred to here as the visual context attention model (VCAM), is important because it uses the available video information to assign decoded text to one of multiple visible faces. This essentially resolves the label ambiguity issue associated with most multi-talker modeling approaches which can decode multiple label strings but cannot assign the label strings to the correct speakers. This is implemented as a transformer-transducer based end-to-end model and evaluated using a two speaker audio-visual overlapping speech dataset created from YouTube videos. It is shown in the paper that the VCAM model improves performance with respect to previously reported audio-only and audio-visual multi-talker ASR systems.
WaveNet is a state-of-the-art text-to-speech vocoder that remains challenging to deploy due to its autoregressive loop. In this work we focus on ways to accelerate the original WaveNet architecture directly, as opposed to modifying the architecture, such that the model can be deployed as part of a scalable text-to-speech system. We survey a wide variety of model compression techniques that are amenable to deployment on a range of hardware platforms. In particular, we compare different model sparsity methods and levels, and seven widely used precisions as targets for quantization; and are able to achieve models with a compression ratio of up to 13.84 without loss in audio fidelity compared to a dense, single-precision floating-point baseline. All techniques are implemented using existing open source deep learning frameworks and libraries to encourage their wider adoption.
Post-editing in Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) entails automatically correcting common and systematic errors produced by the ASR system. The outputs of an ASR system are largely prone to phonetic and spelling errors. In this paper, we propose to use a powerful pre-trained sequence-to-sequence model, BART, further adaptively trained to serve as a denoising model, to correct errors of such types. The adaptive training is performed on an augmented dataset obtained by synthetically inducing errors as well as by incorporating actual errors from an existing ASR system. We also propose a simple approach to rescore the outputs using word level alignments. Experimental results on accented speech data demonstrate that our strategy effectively rectifies a significant number of ASR errors and produces improved WER results when compared against a competitive baseline.