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"speech": models, code, and papers

Joint Speech Recognition and Audio Captioning

Feb 03, 2022
Chaitanya Narisetty, Emiru Tsunoo, Xuankai Chang, Yosuke Kashiwagi, Michael Hentschel, Shinji Watanabe

Speech samples recorded in both indoor and outdoor environments are often contaminated with secondary audio sources. Most end-to-end monaural speech recognition systems either remove these background sounds using speech enhancement or train noise-robust models. For better model interpretability and holistic understanding, we aim to bring together the growing field of automated audio captioning (AAC) and the thoroughly studied automatic speech recognition (ASR). The goal of AAC is to generate natural language descriptions of contents in audio samples. We propose several approaches for end-to-end joint modeling of ASR and AAC tasks and demonstrate their advantages over traditional approaches, which model these tasks independently. A major hurdle in evaluating our proposed approach is the lack of labeled audio datasets with both speech transcriptions and audio captions. Therefore we also create a multi-task dataset by mixing the clean speech Wall Street Journal corpus with multiple levels of background noises chosen from the AudioCaps dataset. We also perform extensive experimental evaluation and show improvements of our proposed methods as compared to existing state-of-the-art ASR and AAC methods.

* 5 pages, 2 figures. Accepted for ICASSP 2022 

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Disentanglement Learning for Variational Autoencoders Applied to Audio-Visual Speech Enhancement

May 19, 2021
Guillaume Carbajal, Julius Richter, Timo Gerkmann

Recently, the standard variational autoencoder has been successfully used to learn a probabilistic prior over speech signals, which is then used to perform speech enhancement. Variational autoencoders have then been conditioned on a label describing a high-level speech attribute (e.g. speech activity) that allows for a more explicit control of speech generation. However, the label is not guaranteed to be disentangled from the other latent variables, which results in limited performance improvements compared to the standard variational autoencoder. In this work, we propose to use an adversarial training scheme for variational autoencoders to disentangle the label from the other latent variables. At training, we use a discriminator that competes with the encoder of the variational autoencoder. Simultaneously, we also use an additional encoder that estimates the label for the decoder of the variational autoencoder, which proves to be crucial to learn disentanglement. We show the benefit of the proposed disentanglement learning when a voice activity label, estimated from visual data, is used for speech enhancement.

* arXiv admin note: text overlap with arXiv:2102.06454 

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The Theory behind Controllable Expressive Speech Synthesis: a Cross-disciplinary Approach

Oct 14, 2019
Noé Tits, Kevin El Haddad, Thierry Dutoit

As part of the Human-Computer Interaction field, Expressive speech synthesis is a very rich domain as it requires knowledge in areas such as machine learning, signal processing, sociology, psychology. In this Chapter, we will focus mostly on the technical side. From the recording of expressive speech to its modeling, the reader will have an overview of the main paradigms used in this field, through some of the most prominent systems and methods. We explain how speech can be represented and encoded with audio features. We present a history of the main methods of Text-to-Speech synthesis: concatenative, parametric and statistical parametric speech synthesis. Finally, we focus on the last one, with the last techniques modeling Text-to-Speech synthesis as a sequence-to-sequence problem. This enables the use of Deep Learning blocks such as Convolutional and Recurrent Neural Networks as well as Attention Mechanism. The last part of the Chapter intends to assemble the different aspects of the theory and summarize the concepts.

* 19 pages, 6 figures. To be published in the book "Human Computer Interaction" edited by Prof. Yves Rybarczyk, published by IntechOpen 

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Rhythm Zone Theory: Speech Rhythms are Physical after all

Mar 12, 2019
Dafydd Gibbon, Xuewei Lin

Speech rhythms have been dealt with in three main ways: from the introspective analyses of rhythm as a correlate of syllable and foot timing in linguistics and applied linguistics, through analyses of durations of segments of utterances associated with consonantal and vocalic properties, syllables, feet and words, to models of rhythms in speech production and perception as physical oscillations. The present study avoids introspection and human-filtered annotation methods and extends the signal processing paradigm of amplitude envelope spectrum analysis by adding an additional analytic step of edge detection, and postulating the co-existence of multiple speech rhythms in rhythm zones marked by identifiable edges (Rhythm Zone Theory, RZT). An exploratory investigation of the utility of RZT is conducted, suggesting that native and non-native readings of the same text are distinct sub-genres of read speech: a reading by a US native speaker and non-native readings by relatively low-performing Cantonese adult learners of English. The study concludes by noting that with the methods used, RZT can distinguish between the speech rhythms of well-defined sub-genres of native speaker reading vs. non-native learner reading, but needs further refinement in order to be applied to the paradoxically more complex speech of low-performing language learners, whose speech rhythms are co-determined by non-fluency and disfluency factors in addition to well-known linguistic factors of grammar, vocabulary and discourse constraints.

* 15 pages, 9 figures, submitted 

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Characterizing Speech Adversarial Examples Using Self-Attention U-Net Enhancement

Mar 31, 2020
Chao-Han Huck Yang, Jun Qi, Pin-Yu Chen, Xiaoli Ma, Chin-Hui Lee

Recent studies have highlighted adversarial examples as ubiquitous threats to the deep neural network (DNN) based speech recognition systems. In this work, we present a U-Net based attention model, U-Net$_{At}$, to enhance adversarial speech signals. Specifically, we evaluate the model performance by interpretable speech recognition metrics and discuss the model performance by the augmented adversarial training. Our experiments show that our proposed U-Net$_{At}$ improves the perceptual evaluation of speech quality (PESQ) from 1.13 to 2.78, speech transmission index (STI) from 0.65 to 0.75, short-term objective intelligibility (STOI) from 0.83 to 0.96 on the task of speech enhancement with adversarial speech examples. We conduct experiments on the automatic speech recognition (ASR) task with adversarial audio attacks. We find that (i) temporal features learned by the attention network are capable of enhancing the robustness of DNN based ASR models; (ii) the generalization power of DNN based ASR model could be enhanced by applying adversarial training with an additive adversarial data augmentation. The ASR metric on word-error-rates (WERs) shows that there is an absolute 2.22 $\%$ decrease under gradient-based perturbation, and an absolute 2.03 $\%$ decrease, under evolutionary-optimized perturbation, which suggests that our enhancement models with adversarial training can further secure a resilient ASR system.

* The first draft was finished in August 2019. Accepted to IEEE ICASSP 2020 

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Algorithm of Segment-Syllabic Synthesis in Speech Recognition Problem

Mar 10, 2007
Oleg N. Karpov, Olga A. Savenkova

Speech recognition based on the syllable segment is discussed in this paper. The principal search methods in space of states for the speech recognition problem by segment-syllabic parameters trajectory synthesis are investigated. Recognition as comparison the parameters trajectories in chosen speech units on the sections of the segmented speech is realized. Some experimental results are given and discussed.

* 11 pages, 4 figures 

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Impact of Encoding and Segmentation Strategies on End-to-End Simultaneous Speech Translation

Apr 29, 2021
Ha Nguyen, Yannick Estève, Laurent Besacier

Boosted by the simultaneous translation shared task at IWSLT 2020, promising end-to-end online speech translation approaches were recently proposed. They consist in incrementally encoding a speech input (in a source language) and decoding the corresponding text (in a target language) with the best possible trade-off between latency and translation quality. This paper investigates two key aspects of end-to-end simultaneous speech translation: (a) how to encode efficiently the continuous speech flow, and (b) how to segment the speech flow in order to alternate optimally between reading (R: encoding input) and writing (W: decoding output) operations. We extend our previously proposed end-to-end online decoding strategy and show that while replacing BLSTM by ULSTM encoding degrades performance in offline mode, it actually improves both efficiency and performance in online mode. We also measure the impact of different methods to segment the speech signal (using fixed interval boundaries, oracle word boundaries or randomly set boundaries) and show that our best end-to-end online decoding strategy is surprisingly the one that alternates R/W operations on fixed size blocks on our English-German speech translation setup.

* Submitted to Interspeech 2021 

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Towards a Common Speech Analysis Engine

Mar 01, 2022
Hagai Aronowitz, Itai Gat, Edmilson Morais, Weizhong Zhu, Ron Hoory

Recent innovations in self-supervised representation learning have led to remarkable advances in natural language processing. That said, in the speech processing domain, self-supervised representation learning-based systems are not yet considered state-of-the-art. We propose leveraging recent advances in self-supervised-based speech processing to create a common speech analysis engine. Such an engine should be able to handle multiple speech processing tasks, using a single architecture, to obtain state-of-the-art accuracy. The engine must also enable support for new tasks with small training datasets. Beyond that, a common engine should be capable of supporting distributed training with client in-house private data. We present the architecture for a common speech analysis engine based on the HuBERT self-supervised speech representation. Based on experiments, we report our results for language identification and emotion recognition on the standard evaluations NIST-LRE 07 and IEMOCAP. Our results surpass the state-of-the-art performance reported so far on these tasks. We also analyzed our engine on the emotion recognition task using reduced amounts of training data and show how to achieve improved results.

* ICASSP 2022 

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Towards Unsupervised Speech-to-Text Translation

Nov 04, 2018
Yu-An Chung, Wei-Hung Weng, Schrasing Tong, James Glass

We present a framework for building speech-to-text translation (ST) systems using only monolingual speech and text corpora, in other words, speech utterances from a source language and independent text from a target language. As opposed to traditional cascaded systems and end-to-end architectures, our system does not require any labeled data (i.e., transcribed source audio or parallel source and target text corpora) during training, making it especially applicable to language pairs with very few or even zero bilingual resources. The framework initializes the ST system with a cross-modal bilingual dictionary inferred from the monolingual corpora, that maps every source speech segment corresponding to a spoken word to its target text translation. For unseen source speech utterances, the system first performs word-by-word translation on each speech segment in the utterance. The translation is improved by leveraging a language model and a sequence denoising autoencoder to provide prior knowledge about the target language. Experimental results show that our unsupervised system achieves comparable BLEU scores to supervised end-to-end models despite the lack of supervision. We also provide an ablation analysis to examine the utility of each component in our system.

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