ASRU 2021 kicks off this week in Cartagena, Colombia

December 13, 2021

The 2021 IEEE Automatic Speech Recognition and Understanding Workshop (ASRU 2021) takes place this week in Cartagena, Colombia.  AppTek scientists will be presenting papers surrounding the latest advancements in speech recognition technology including architectures and training for raw waveform feature extraction in ASR and the benefits of synthetic data for various ASR architectures.

N. Rossenbach, M. Zeineldeen, B. Hilmes, R. Schlüter, and H. Ney. Comparing the Benefit of Synthetic Training Data for Various Automatic Speech Recognition Architectures. In IEEE Automatic Speech Recognition and Understanding Workshop (ASRU), Cartagena, Colombia, December 2021

Recent publications on automatic-speech-recognition (ASR) have a strong focus on attention encoder-decoder (AED) architectures which tend to suffer from over-fitting in low resource scenarios. One solution to tackle this issue is to generate synthetic data with a trained text-to-speech system (TTS) if additional text is available. This was successfully applied in many publications with AED systems, but only very limited in the context of other ASR architectures. We investigate the effect of varying pre-processing, the speaker embedding and input encoding of the TTS system w.r.t. the effectiveness of the synthesized data for AED-ASR training. Additionally, we also consider internal language model subtraction for the first time, resulting in up to 38% relative improvement. We compare the AED results to a state-of-the-art hybrid ASR system, a monophone based system using connectionist-temporal-classification (CTC) and a monotonic transducer based system. We show that for the later systems the addition of synthetic data has no relevant effect, but they still outperform the AED systems on LibriSpeech-100h. We achieve a final word-error-rate of 3.3%/10.0% with a hybrid system on the clean/noisy test-sets, surpassing any previous state-of-the-art systems on Librispeech-100h that do not include unlabeled audio data.

P. Vieting, C. Lüscher, W. Michel, R. Schlüter, and H. Ney. On Architectures and Training for Raw Waveform Feature Extraction in ASR. In IEEE Automatic Speech Recognition and Understanding Workshop (ASRU), Cartagena, Colombia, December 2021.

With the success of neural network based modeling in automatic speech recognition (ASR), many studies investigated acoustic modeling and learning of feature extractors directly based on the raw waveform. Recently, one line of research has focused on unsupervised pre-training of feature extractors on audio-only data to improve downstream ASR performance. In this work, we investigate the usefulness of one of these front-end frameworks, namely wav2vec, in a setting without additional untranscribed data for hybrid ASR systems. We compare this framework both to the manually defined standard Gammatone feature set, as well as to features extracted as part of the acoustic model of an ASR system trained supervised. We study the benefits of using the pre-trained feature extractor and explore how to additionally exploit an existing acoustic model trained with different features. Finally, we systematically examine combinations of the described features in order to further advance the performance.

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AppTek provides an artificial intelligence and machine learning-based automatic speech recognition, machine translation and natural language understanding platform for organizations in a variety of markets, such as media and entertainment, call centers, government, enterprise business and others across the globe. Available via the cloud or on-premise, AppTek delivers the highest quality real-time streaming and batch speech technology solutions in the industry.   Featuring scientists and research engineers who are recognized amongst the best and most experienced in the world, the company’s solutions cover a wide array of languages, dialects, and channels.

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