Self-supervised pre-training methods have brought remarkable breakthroughs in the understanding of text, image, and speech. Recent developments in genomics has also adopted these pre-training methods for genome understanding. However, they focus only on understanding haploid sequences, which hinders their applicability towards understanding genetic variations, also known as single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), which is crucial for genome-wide association study. In this paper, we introduce SNP2Vec, a scalable self-supervised pre-training approach for understanding SNP. We apply SNP2Vec to perform long-sequence genomics modeling, and we evaluate the effectiveness of our approach on predicting Alzheimer's disease risk in a Chinese cohort. Our approach significantly outperforms existing polygenic risk score methods and all other baselines, including the model that is trained entirely with haploid sequences. We release our code and dataset on https://github.com/HLTCHKUST/snp2vec.
This paper introduces a real-time time-domain packet loss concealment (PLC) neural-network (tPLCnet). It efficiently predicts lost frames from a short context buffer in a sequence-to-one (seq2one) fashion. Because of its seq2one structure, a continuous inference of the model is not required since it can be triggered when packet loss is actually detected. It is trained on 64h of open-source speech data and packet-loss traces of real calls provided by the Audio PLC Challenge. The model with the lowest complexity described in this paper reaches a robust PLC performance and consistent improvements over the zero-filling baseline for all metrics. A configuration with higher complexity is submitted to the PLC Challenge and shows a performance increase of 1.07 compared to the zero-filling baseline in terms of PLC-MOS on the blind test set and reaches a competitive 3rd place in the challenge ranking.
This paper presents the results of a pilot study that introduces social robots into kindergarten and first-grade classroom tasks. This study aims to understand 1) how effective social robots are in administering educational activities and assessments, and 2) if these interactions with social robots can serve as a gateway into learning about robotics and STEM for young children. We administered a commonly-used assessment (GFTA3) of speech production using a social robot and compared the quality of recorded responses to those obtained with a human assessor. In a comparison done between 40 children, we found no significant differences in the student responses between the two conditions over the three metrics used: word repetition accuracy, number of times additional help was needed, and similarity of prosody to the assessor. We also found that interactions with the robot were successfully able to stimulate curiosity in robotics, and therefore STEM, from a large number of the 164 student participants.
In this paper, we propose self-supervised speaker representation learning strategies, which comprise of a bootstrap equilibrium speaker representation learning in the front-end and an uncertainty-aware probabilistic speaker embedding training in the back-end. In the front-end stage, we learn the speaker representations via the bootstrap training scheme with the uniformity regularization term. In the back-end stage, the probabilistic speaker embeddings are estimated by maximizing the mutual likelihood score between the speech samples belonging to the same speaker, which provide not only speaker representations but also data uncertainty. Experimental results show that the proposed bootstrap equilibrium training strategy can effectively help learn the speaker representations and outperforms the conventional methods based on contrastive learning. Also, we demonstrate that the integrated two-stage framework further improves the speaker verification performance on the VoxCeleb1 test set in terms of EER and MinDCF.
The growing interest in employing counter narratives for hatred intervention brings with it a focus on dataset creation and automation strategies. In this scenario, learning to recognize counter narrative types from natural text is expected to be useful for applications such as hate speech countering, where operators from non-governmental organizations are supposed to answer to hate with several and diverse arguments that can be mined from online sources. This paper presents the first multilingual work on counter narrative type classification, evaluating SoTA pre-trained language models in monolingual, multilingual and cross-lingual settings. When considering a fine-grained annotation of counter narrative classes, we report strong baseline classification results for the majority of the counter narrative types, especially if we translate every language to English before cross-lingual prediction. This suggests that knowledge about counter narratives can be successfully transferred across languages.
Speech emotion recognition is the task of recognizing the speaker's emotional state given a recording of their utterance. While most of the current approaches focus on inferring emotion from isolated utterances, we argue that this is not sufficient to achieve conversational emotion recognition (CER) which deals with recognizing emotions in conversations. In this work, we propose several approaches for CER by treating it as a sequence labeling task. We investigated transformer architecture for CER and, compared it with ResNet-34 and BiLSTM architectures in both contextual and context-less scenarios using IEMOCAP corpus. Based on the inner workings of the self-attention mechanism, we proposed DiverseCatAugment (DCA), an augmentation scheme, which improved the transformer model performance by an absolute 3.3% micro-f1 on conversations and 3.6% on isolated utterances. We further enhanced the performance by introducing an interlocutor-aware transformer model where we learn a dictionary of interlocutor index embeddings to exploit diarized conversations.
When recurrent neural network transducers (RNNTs) are trained using the typical maximum likelihood criterion, the prediction network is trained only on ground truth label sequences. This leads to a mismatch during inference, known as exposure bias, when the model must deal with label sequences containing errors. In this paper we investigate approaches to reducing exposure bias in training to improve the generalization of RNNT models for automatic speech recognition (ASR). A label-preserving input perturbation to the prediction network is introduced. The input token sequences are perturbed using SwitchOut and scheduled sampling based on an additional token language model. Experiments conducted on the 300-hour Switchboard dataset demonstrate their effectiveness. By reducing the exposure bias, we show that we can further improve the accuracy of a high-performance RNNT ASR model and obtain state-of-the-art results on the 300-hour Switchboard dataset.
Confidence scores are very useful for downstream applications of automatic speech recognition (ASR) systems. Recent works have proposed using neural networks to learn word or utterance confidence scores for end-to-end ASR. In those studies, word confidence by itself does not model deletions, and utterance confidence does not take advantage of word-level training signals. This paper proposes to jointly learn word confidence, word deletion, and utterance confidence. Empirical results show that multi-task learning with all three objectives improves confidence metrics (NCE, AUC, RMSE) without the need for increasing the model size of the confidence estimation module. Using the utterance-level confidence for rescoring also decreases the word error rates on Google's Voice Search and Long-tail Maps datasets by 3-5% relative, without needing a dedicated neural rescorer.
This paper describes a corpus annotation process to support the identification of hate speech and offensive language in social media. In addition, we provide the first robust corpus this kind for the Brazilian Portuguese language. The corpus was collected from Instagram pages of political personalities and manually annotated, being composed by 7,000 documents annotated according to three different layers: a binary classification (offensive versus non-offensive language), the level of offense (highly offensive, moderately offensive and slightly offensive messages), and the identification regarding the target of the discriminatory content (xenophobia, racism, homophobia, sexism, religion intolerance, partyism, apology to the dictatorship, antisemitism and fat phobia). Each comment was annotated by three different annotators, which achieved high inter-annotator agreement. The proposed annotation approach is also language and domain independent, nevertheless, it was currently applied for Brazilian Portuguese.
Although deep neural networks are successful for many tasks in the speech domain, the high computational and memory costs of deep neural networks make it difficult to directly deploy highperformance Neural Network systems on low-resource embedded devices. There are several mechanisms to reduce the size of the neural networks i.e. parameter pruning, parameter quantization, etc. This paper focuses on how to apply binary neural networks to the task of speaker verification. The proposed binarization of training parameters can largely maintain the performance while significantly reducing storage space requirements and computational costs. Experiment results show that, after binarizing the Convolutional Neural Network, the ResNet34-based network achieves an EER of around 5% on the Voxceleb1 testing dataset and even outperforms the traditional real number network on the text-dependent dataset: Xiaole while having a 32x memory saving.