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"speech": models, code, and papers

Large-scale multilingual audio visual dubbing

Nov 06, 2020
Yi Yang, Brendan Shillingford, Yannis Assael, Miaosen Wang, Wendi Liu, Yutian Chen, Yu Zhang, Eren Sezener, Luis C. Cobo, Misha Denil, Yusuf Aytar, Nando de Freitas

We describe a system for large-scale audiovisual translation and dubbing, which translates videos from one language to another. The source language's speech content is transcribed to text, translated, and automatically synthesized into target language speech using the original speaker's voice. The visual content is translated by synthesizing lip movements for the speaker to match the translated audio, creating a seamless audiovisual experience in the target language. The audio and visual translation subsystems each contain a large-scale generic synthesis model trained on thousands of hours of data in the corresponding domain. These generic models are fine-tuned to a specific speaker before translation, either using an auxiliary corpus of data from the target speaker, or using the video to be translated itself as the input to the fine-tuning process. This report gives an architectural overview of the full system, as well as an in-depth discussion of the video dubbing component. The role of the audio and text components in relation to the full system is outlined, but their design is not discussed in detail. Translated and dubbed demo videos generated using our system can be viewed at

* 26 pages, 8 figures 

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Syntactic Recurrent Neural Network for Authorship Attribution

Feb 27, 2019
Fereshteh Jafariakinabad, Sansiri Tarnpradab, Kien A. Hua

Writing style is a combination of consistent decisions at different levels of language production including lexical, syntactic, and structural associated to a specific author (or author groups). While lexical-based models have been widely explored in style-based text classification, relying on content makes the model less scalable when dealing with heterogeneous data comprised of various topics. On the other hand, syntactic models which are content-independent, are more robust against topic variance. In this paper, we introduce a syntactic recurrent neural network to encode the syntactic patterns of a document in a hierarchical structure. The model first learns the syntactic representation of sentences from the sequence of part-of-speech tags. For this purpose, we exploit both convolutional filters and long short-term memories to investigate the short-term and long-term dependencies of part-of-speech tags in the sentences. Subsequently, the syntactic representations of sentences are aggregated into document representation using recurrent neural networks. Our experimental results on PAN 2012 dataset for authorship attribution task shows that syntactic recurrent neural network outperforms the lexical model with the identical architecture by approximately 14% in terms of accuracy.

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Learning Speaker Representations with Mutual Information

Dec 01, 2018
Mirco Ravanelli, Yoshua Bengio

Learning good representations is of crucial importance in deep learning. Mutual Information (MI) or similar measures of statistical dependence are promising tools for learning these representations in an unsupervised way. Even though the mutual information between two random variables is hard to measure directly in high dimensional spaces, some recent studies have shown that an implicit optimization of MI can be achieved with an encoder-discriminator architecture similar to that of Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs). In this work, we learn representations that capture speaker identities by maximizing the mutual information between the encoded representations of chunks of speech randomly sampled from the same sentence. The proposed encoder relies on the SincNet architecture and transforms raw speech waveform into a compact feature vector. The discriminator is fed by either positive samples (of the joint distribution of encoded chunks) or negative samples (from the product of the marginals) and is trained to separate them. We report experiments showing that this approach effectively learns useful speaker representations, leading to promising results on speaker identification and verification tasks. Our experiments consider both unsupervised and semi-supervised settings and compare the performance achieved with different objective functions.

* Submitted to ICASSP 2019 

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Few-shot learning with attention-based sequence-to-sequence models

Nov 08, 2018
Bertrand Higy, Peter Bell

End-to-end approaches have recently become popular as a means of simplifying the training and deployment of speech recognition systems. However, they often require large amounts of data to perform well on large vocabulary tasks. With the aim of making end-to-end approaches usable by a broader range of researchers, we explore the potential to use end-to-end methods in small vocabulary contexts where smaller datasets may be used. A significant drawback of small-vocabulary systems is the difficulty of expanding the vocabulary beyond the original training samples -- therefore we also study strategies to extend the vocabulary with only few examples per new class (few-shot learning). Our results show that an attention-based encoder-decoder can be competitive against a strong baseline on a small vocabulary keyword classification task, reaching 97.5% of accuracy on Tensorflow's Speech Commands dataset. It also shows promising results on the few-shot learning problem where a simple strategy achieved 34.8% of accuracy on new keywords with only 10 examples for each new class. This score goes up to 80.3% with a larger set of 100 examples.

* Submitted to ICASSP 2019 

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A Character-level Span-based Model for Mandarin Prosodic Structure Prediction

Mar 31, 2022
Xueyuan Chen, Changhe Song, Yixuan Zhou, Zhiyong Wu, Changbin Chen, Zhongqin Wu, Helen Meng

The accuracy of prosodic structure prediction is crucial to the naturalness of synthesized speech in Mandarin text-to-speech system, but now is limited by widely-used sequence-to-sequence framework and error accumulation from previous word segmentation results. In this paper, we propose a span-based Mandarin prosodic structure prediction model to obtain an optimal prosodic structure tree, which can be converted to corresponding prosodic label sequence. Instead of the prerequisite for word segmentation, rich linguistic features are provided by Chinese character-level BERT and sent to encoder with self-attention architecture. On top of this, span representation and label scoring are used to describe all possible prosodic structure trees, of which each tree has its corresponding score. To find the optimal tree with the highest score for a given sentence, a bottom-up CKY-style algorithm is further used. The proposed method can predict prosodic labels of different levels at the same time and accomplish the process directly from Chinese characters in an end-to-end manner. Experiment results on two real-world datasets demonstrate the excellent performance of our span-based method over all sequence-to-sequence baseline approaches.

* Accepted by ICASSP 2022 

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Detecting Emotion Carriers by Combining Acoustic and Lexical Representations

Dec 13, 2021
Sebastian P. Bayerl, Aniruddha Tammewar, Korbinian Riedhammer, Giuseppe Riccardi

Personal narratives (PN) - spoken or written - are recollections of facts, people, events, and thoughts from one's own experience. Emotion recognition and sentiment analysis tasks are usually defined at the utterance or document level. However, in this work, we focus on Emotion Carriers (EC) defined as the segments (speech or text) that best explain the emotional state of the narrator ("loss of father", "made me choose"). Once extracted, such EC can provide a richer representation of the user state to improve natural language understanding and dialogue modeling. In previous work, it has been shown that EC can be identified using lexical features. However, spoken narratives should provide a richer description of the context and the users' emotional state. In this paper, we leverage word-based acoustic and textual embeddings as well as early and late fusion techniques for the detection of ECs in spoken narratives. For the acoustic word-level representations, we use Residual Neural Networks (ResNet) pretrained on separate speech emotion corpora and fine-tuned to detect EC. Experiments with different fusion and system combination strategies show that late fusion leads to significant improvements for this task.

* Accepted at ASRU 2021 

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Semi-Supervised Training with Pseudo-Labeling for End-to-End Neural Diarization

Jun 09, 2021
Yuki Takashima, Yusuke Fujita, Shota Horiguchi, Shinji Watanabe, Paola García, Kenji Nagamatsu

In this paper, we present a semi-supervised training technique using pseudo-labeling for end-to-end neural diarization (EEND). The EEND system has shown promising performance compared with traditional clustering-based methods, especially in the case of overlapping speech. However, to get a well-tuned model, EEND requires labeled data for all the joint speech activities of every speaker at each time frame in a recording. In this paper, we explore a pseudo-labeling approach that employs unlabeled data. First, we propose an iterative pseudo-label method for EEND, which trains the model using unlabeled data of a target condition. Then, we also propose a committee-based training method to improve the performance of EEND. To evaluate our proposed method, we conduct the experiments of model adaptation using labeled and unlabeled data. Experimental results on the CALLHOME dataset show that our proposed pseudo-label achieved a 37.4% relative diarization error rate reduction compared to a seed model. Moreover, we analyzed the results of semi-supervised adaptation with pseudo-labeling. We also show the effectiveness of our approach on the third DIHARD dataset.

* Accepted for Interspeech 2021 

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Using Transformers to Provide Teachers with Personalized Feedback on their Classroom Discourse: The TalkMoves Application

Apr 29, 2021
Abhijit Suresh, Jennifer Jacobs, Vivian Lai, Chenhao Tan, Wayne Ward, James H. Martin, Tamara Sumner

TalkMoves is an innovative application designed to support K-12 mathematics teachers to reflect on, and continuously improve their instructional practices. This application combines state-of-the-art natural language processing capabilities with automated speech recognition to automatically analyze classroom recordings and provide teachers with personalized feedback on their use of specific types of discourse aimed at broadening and deepening classroom conversations about mathematics. These specific discourse strategies are referred to as "talk moves" within the mathematics education community and prior research has documented the ways in which systematic use of these discourse strategies can positively impact student engagement and learning. In this article, we describe the TalkMoves application's cloud-based infrastructure for managing and processing classroom recordings, and its interface for providing teachers with feedback on their use of talk moves during individual teaching episodes. We present the series of model architectures we developed, and the studies we conducted, to develop our best-performing, transformer-based model (F1 = 79.3%). We also discuss several technical challenges that need to be addressed when working with real-world speech and language data from noisy K-12 classrooms.

* Presented at the AAAI 2021 Spring Symposium on Artificial Intelligence for K-12 Education 

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Towards Robust Speaker Verification with Target Speaker Enhancement

Mar 16, 2021
Chunlei Zhang, Meng Yu, Chao Weng, Dong Yu

This paper proposes the target speaker enhancement based speaker verification network (TASE-SVNet), an all neural model that couples target speaker enhancement and speaker embedding extraction for robust speaker verification (SV). Specifically, an enrollment speaker conditioned speech enhancement module is employed as the front-end for extracting target speaker from its mixture with interfering speakers and environmental noises. Compared with the conventional target speaker enhancement models, nontarget speaker/interference suppression should draw additional attention for SV. Therefore, an effective nontarget speaker sampling strategy is explored. To improve speaker embedding extraction with a light-weighted model, a teacher-student (T/S) training is proposed to distill speaker discriminative information from large models to small models. Iterative inference is investigated to address the noisy speaker enrollment problem. We evaluate the proposed method on two SV tasks, i.e., one heavily overlapped speech and the other one with comprehensive noise types in vehicle environments. Experiments show significant and consistent improvements in Equal Error Rate (EER) over the state-of-the-art baselines.

* Accepted by IEEE ICASSP 2021 

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EmoCat: Language-agnostic Emotional Voice Conversion

Jan 14, 2021
Bastian Schnell, Goeric Huybrechts, Bartek Perz, Thomas Drugman, Jaime Lorenzo-Trueba

Emotional voice conversion models adapt the emotion in speech without changing the speaker identity or linguistic content. They are less data hungry than text-to-speech models and allow to generate large amounts of emotional data for downstream tasks. In this work we propose EmoCat, a language-agnostic emotional voice conversion model. It achieves high-quality emotion conversion in German with less than 45 minutes of German emotional recordings by exploiting large amounts of emotional data in US English. EmoCat is an encoder-decoder model based on CopyCat, a voice conversion system which transfers prosody. We use adversarial training to remove emotion leakage from the encoder to the decoder. The adversarial training is improved by a novel contribution to gradient reversal to truly reverse gradients. This allows to remove only the leaking information and to converge to better optima with higher conversion performance. Evaluations show that Emocat can convert to different emotions but misses on emotion intensity compared to the recordings, especially for very expressive emotions. EmoCat is able to achieve audio quality on par with the recordings for five out of six tested emotion intensities.

* Submitted to IEEE ICASSP 2021 

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