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Published on March 13, 2008

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Multilingual HLT in Europe and the development of ASR:  Multilingual HLT in Europe and the development of ASR Louis C.W. Pols Institute of Phonetic Sciences University of Amsterdam The Netherlands PRASA2001 – Franschhoek, South Africa 30 Nov. 2001, keynote Some history:  Some history Liesbeth Botha spent half a year at our institute during second half of 1996 ever since the possible organization of a workshop or a major conference in South Africa was considered (cancelled) AST Workshop on ‘Human Language Technologies for E-Governance in a Multilingual Society’, Stellenbosch PRASA2001 – Franschhoek, 29-30 Nov., incl. Speech Processing and AST project I always wanted to visit South Africa! Overview:  Overview Multilingual Europe (vs. Multilingual South Africa) EU Framework Programs; Human Language Technology (HLT) Other (European) programs and organizations ISCA Dutch speech database initiatives (vs. AST) Speech science and technology; ASR development Academia (knowledge) and industry (applications) Conclusions Multilingual Europe:  Multilingual Europe Europe (West, Central, East) EU-countries Candidate-EU-countries Schengen countries (internally no boundary control) Euro countries (300 M people) many nations and even more languages multilingual community and (open) market e-commerce, telebanking, infokiosk, etc. EU Framework Program FP5:  EU Framework Program FP5 Human Language Technologies RTD (HLT) http://www.hltcentral.org/ part of Information Society Technologies (IST), Key Action III (Multimedia Contents and Tools) part of fifth Framework Program ’98-’02 (FP5) IST 3600 M€ (26.5% of FP5); HLT 125 M€ HLT: Multilingual communication Natural Interactivity Cross-lingual information management Support & Accompanying Measures 6th Framework program:  6th Framework program FP6 (’02-’06) the way forward proposal published Febr. 2001 one of 7 priority themes: Information Society Technologies also networks of excellence IST budget 3600 M€ Complaints from academia:  Complaints from academia too much application & user oriented little room for research (reaction Commission: it is time for HLT to show its usefulness!), but .... pendulum swings! speech data not freely available (only with delay and at (high) costs via ELRA) still: several very interesting projects we participated before (SAM, EuroCocosda, somewhat in SpeechDat) but barely anymore, but (KPN Research and) Nijmegen University still do Some HLT ‘speech’ projects:  Some HLT ‘speech’ projects C-ORAL-ROM Integrated Reference Corpora for Spoken Romance Languages (1/01, 36 mo) CORETEX Improving Core Speech Recognition Technology (4/00, 36 mo) I-EYE Interacting with Eyes: Gaze Assisted Access to Information in Multiple Languages (1/00, 30 mo) NESPOLE! NEgotiating through SPOken Lang. in E-comm. (1/00, 30 mo) SIRIDUS Specification, Interaction and Reconfiguration In Dialogue Understanding Systems (1/00, 36 mo) SMADA Sp. Driven Multimodal Automatic Directory Assist. (1/00, 36 mo) (finalizing ITRW ’Advanced ASR for Telecom Appl.’, Nov. 2002, Avignon) SPEECON Sp. Driven Interfaces for Consumer Applications (2/00, 24 mo) Some ‘past’ HLT projects:  Some ‘past’ HLT projects ARISE Automatic Railway Systems for Europe (10/96, 24 mo) CAVE Caller Verification in Bank and Telecommunication (11/95, 24 mo) EAGLES Expert Advisory Group on Language Engineering Standards (11/97, 24 mo) ELRA European Language Resources Association (9/95, 50 mo) ELSE Evaluation in Language and Speech Engineering (1/98, 16 mo) SPEECHDAT Speech Databases for Creation of Voice Driven Teleservices (3/96, 34 mo) SPEECHDAT-CAR (3/98, 30 mo) + variants VODIS Advanced Speech Technologies for Voice-operated Driver Information Systems (11/95, 43 mo) some HLT ‘support’ projects:  some HLT ‘support’ projects CLASS Collaboration in Language and Speech Science and technology (Int. WS on ‘Information Presentation and Natural Multimodal Dialogue’, Verona Italy, Dec 14-15, 2001) ELSNET-HLT The European Network of Excellence in Human Language Technologies HOPE HLT Opportunity Promotion in Europe, Euromap ISLE-HLT Int. Standards for Language Engineering (Eagles follow-up) incl. I/O Meta Data Initiative (IMDI), see also COREX eContent:  eContent eContent part of eEurope initiative European Digital Content on the Global Networks, ’01-’05, 100 M€, 1st call 3/2001 Action Line 2 (AL2) addresses the intersection of the content and language industries, more specifically the design, production and distribution of high-quality European digital content for the global networks in an increasingly multilingual and multicultural socio-economic environment http://www.hltcentral.org/econtent/ MLIS:  MLIS Multilingual Information Society Program Supporting the creation of a framework of services for European language resources Encouraging the use of language technologies, resources and standards Promoting the use of advanced language tools in the Community and Member States public sector one call in June ’99, 15 M€, some 30 proj. f.i. NL-TRANSLEX: Machine Translation for Dutch and English/French/German INTAS:  INTAS International Association for the promotion of co-operation with scientists from the New Independent States of the former Soviet Union (NIS) established June 1993 Open + Thematic Call 2000 (budget 16 M €) max budget 150 k€/project (max 30 k€/NIS partner) INTAS 915 ‘Spontaneous Speech of Typologically Unrelated Languages (Russian, Finnish and Dutch): Comparison of Phonetic Properties’ (90 k€, 7/01, 36 mo) Euromap:  Euromap HLT Opportunity Promotion in Europe (HOPE) (2/00, 24 mo, 8 national focus points) to raise awareness of the benefits of human language technologies (HLT) with companies, organizations and users; to accelerate technology transfer from the research base to the market; to stimulate community building in specific domains (tourism and e-commerce). General: http://www.hltcentral.org/euromap/ Dutch site: http://www.taalunieversum.org/tst/en/ European Language Resources Association:  European Language Resources Association A non-profit organization to promote the creation, verification, and distribution of language resources. US counterpart: LDC 173 resources sold in 2000. organizer of LREC conferences (third one in May 2002 in Las Palmas, Spain) speech & related resources ~200 written resources ~145 terminological resources tools and software http://www.icp.grenet.fr/ELRA/home.html ELSNET:  ELSNET European Network of Excellence in Human Language Technologies one of the ~20 networks within FP5 Transfer of knowledge and expertise; Shared goals; Evaluation; Shared language resources; Promotion of best practice; Interoperability by means of standardization yearly Elsnet Summer Schools: July 15-26, 2002 Odense, Denmark, ‘Evaluation and Assessment of Text and Speech Systems’ Newsletter Elsnews; http://www.elsnet.org COCOSDA:  COCOSDA Internat. organization for coordinating the globalized efforts in spoken language resources and sp. technology evaluation yearly, jointly, with Eurospeech and ICSLP since Chiavari, Italy, Sept. ’91 (Eurosp.’91) and before; Oriental Cocosda topic domains Evaluation of Speech Underst. and Dialogue Systems (W. Minker) Multi-modal corpora (S. Nakamura) Corpus Annotation Tools (S. Bird) Local Languages (D. Gibbon) regional programs (Europe; Asia; Oceania; Africa; Latin America) data center representatives (LDC, S. Bird; ELRA, K. Choukri) http://www.itl.atr.co.jp/cocosda COCOSDA matrix:  COCOSDA matrix COST:  COST European Cooperation in the field of Scientific and Technical Research (~60 k€ per action, for additional costs only): COST 249: Continuous Speech Recognition over the Telephone (19 countries; start 5/94; 6 yrs; final report) COST 250: Speaker Recognition in Telephony COST 258: The Naturalness of Synthetic Speech COST 277: Nonlinear Speech Processing COST 278: Spoken Language Interaction in Telecommun. http://cost.cordis.lu/src/home.cfm EURESCOM:  EURESCOM the European Institute for Research and Strategic Studies in Telecommunications 20 shareholders from 19 European countries (major European network operators and service providers) f.i. MUST - MUltimodal, multilingual information Services with small mobile Terminals (P1104) ISCA:  ISCA European Speech Comm. Association founded in ’88 from ESCA to ISCA at Eurospeech’99 in Budapest membership organization organizer of Eurospeech/ICSLP - Interspeech organizer of specialized workshops (ITRWs) Special interest groups (SIGs) Speech Communication Journal (http://www.elsevier.com/locate/specom) http://www.isca-speech.org/ Eurospeech-ICSLP-Interspeech:  Eurospeech-ICSLP-Interspeech odd years (Eurospeech) even years (ICSLP) (in Europe) (elsewhere) 1 Paris ’89 Kobe ’90 2 Genoa ’91 Banff ’92 3 Berlin ’93 Yokohama ’94 4 Madrid ’95 Philadelphia ’96 5 Rhodes ’97 Sydney ’98 6 Budapest ’99 Beijing ’00 7 Aalborg ’01 Denver ’02 8 Geneva ’03 Seoul ’04 9 Lisbon ’05 ?? ’06 past future ISCA SIGs:  ISCA SIGs Speech Synthesis - SynSig Audio Visual Speech - AVISA Speech And Language Technology for MInority Languages - SALTMIL Integration of Speech Technology in (Language) Learning - InSTIL SPeaker and Language Characterization - SPLC Education in the Field of Speech Communication - EduSIG Speech Prosody - SProSIG Dialogue Processing - SigDial (also within ACL) Groupe Francophone de la Communication Parlée - GFCP ISCA ITRWs (forthcoming):  ISCA ITRWs (forthcoming) Prosody in Speech Recognition and Understanding - Prosody 2001 Molly Pitcher Inn, Red Bank, NJ. October 22-24, 2001 TIPS - Temporal Integration in the Perception of Speech Aix-en-Provence, France, 8-10 April 2002 Multi-Modal Dialogue in Mobile Environments Kloster Irsee, Germany, June 17-21, 2002 Advanced ASR for Telecom Applications Palais des Papes, Avignon, France, November 27-29, 2002 Supported but not organized by ISCA: 2001 International Workshop on Automatic Sp. Recogn. and Underst. Madonna di Campiglio (Trento), Italy, December 9-13, 2001 Speech Prosody 2002 Aix-en-Provence, France, 11-13 April, 2002 IEEE:  IEEE IEEE Signal Processing Society MMSP’01, Workshop on Multimedia Signal Processing, Cannes, France, October 3-5, 2001 ASRU’01, Automatic Speech Recognition and Understanding Workshop, Madonna de Campiglio (Trento), Italy, December 9-13, 2001 2002 International Workshop on Multimedia Signal Processing, US Virgin islands, December 9-11, 2002 IEEE Trans. on Signal Processing / Speech and Audio Processing / Multimedia / Neural Networks http://www.ieee.org/ DARPA NIST:  DARPA NIST DARPA Projects and Yearly evaluations CSR (Continuous Speech Recognition); LVCSR (Large Vocabulary Conversational Speech Recognition); ATIS (Air Travel Information System); Language Recognition (Identification and Verification); Speaker Recognition (Identification and Verification) NATO-ASI:  NATO-ASI ASI = Advanced Study Institute many different domains certain restrictions on NATO vs. non-NATO participants, free registration, some funding Dynamics of Speech Production and Perception, Il Ciocci, Italy, June 23 – July 6, 2002 send application before Jan. 15, 2002 to asi2001@ebire.org Organizing Cee.: Pierre L. Divenyi & Klára Vicsi European national programs:  European national programs German Verbmobil; SmartKom (since 9/99) Bavarian Archive for Speech Signals (BAS) Spoken Dutch Corpus French AUP Swedish Centre for Speech Technology (CTT) Swedish National Graduate School in Language Technology (GSLT) Dutch speech database initiatives:  Dutch speech database initiatives Speech Processing Expertise Center SPEX 5,000 speakers Polyphone 1,000 speakers SpeechDat + variants NWO Priority program TST-OVIS (public transportation information system over telephone) 1,000 hrs CGN (Dutch-Flemish) 5.5 hrs ‘open source’ IFA-corpus TST Platform ToDI (Transcription of Dutch Intonation) Spoken Dutch Corpus:  Spoken Dutch Corpus 4.6 M€, 5 yrs, 10 M words, ~ 1000 hrs of speech Corpus design and compilation Recording and digitization Orthographic transcription (all) Lemmatization and POS tagging (all) Lexicon link-up (all) Broad phonetic transcription (1 M) Word segmentation (1 M) Syntactic annotation (1 M) Prosodic annotation (250 k) Development of exploitation software COREX http://lands.let.kun.nl/cgn/home.htm IFA corpus:  IFA corpus 5.5 hrs of high-quality-recorded speech 4 male and 4 female speakers more than 30 min. per speaker various speaking styles per speaker from conversational and read speech, to isolated sentences, words and syllables everything phonemically segmented & labeled free access via SQL query language http://www.fon.hum.uva.nl/IFAcorpus Speech science and speech technology:  Speech science and speech technology we should try to bridge that gap see my keynotes at ICPhS ’99 and Eurospeech’01: “Flexible, robust and efficient human speech processing versus present-day speech technology” “Acquiring and implementing phonetic knowledge” we have to understand each other in order to be able to communicate and to contribute probabilistic vs. knowledge driven adding (multiple) knowledge (sources) to improve performance much knowledge in speech databases Phonetics  Speech Techn.:  Phonetics  Speech Techn. Do recognizers need intelligent ears?:  Do recognizers need intelligent ears? intelligent ears  front-end pre-processor only if it improves performance humans are generally better speech processors than machines, perhaps system developers can learn from human behavior robustness at stake (noise, reverberation, incompleteness, restoration, competing speakers, variable speaking rate, context, dialects, non-nativeness, style, emotion) What is (phonetic) knowledge?:  What is (phonetic) knowledge? phonetic textbook knowledge probabilistic knowledge from databases fixed set of features vs. adaptable set trading relations, selectivity knowledge of the world, expectation global vs. detailed How good is human/machine speech recogn.?:  How good is human/machine speech recogn.? Human vs. machine (ASR):  Human vs. machine (ASR) machine surprisingly good for certain tasks machine could be better for many others robustness, outliers what are the limits of human performance? in noise for degraded speech missing information (trading) Human word intelligibility vs. noise:  Human word intelligibility vs. noise Robustness to degraded speech:  Robustness to degraded speech speech = time-modulated signal in frequency bands relatively insensitive to (spectral) distortions prerequisite for digital hearing aid modulating spectral slope: -5 to +5 dB/oct, 0.25-2 Hz temporal smearing of envelope modulation ca. 4 Hz max. in modulation spectrum  syllable LP>4 Hz and HP<8 Hz little effect on intelligibility spectral envelope smearing for BW>1/3 oct masked SRT starts to degrade Robustness to degraded speech and missing information:  Robustness to degraded speech and missing information partly reversed speech (Saberi & Perrott, Nature, 4/99) fixed duration segments time reversed or shifted in time: perfect sentence intelligibility up to 50 ms (demo: every 50 ms reversed original ) low frequency modulation envelope (3-8 Hz) vs. acoustic spectrum syllable as information unit? (S. Greenberg) gap and click restoration (Warren) gating experiments Desired pre-processor characteristics in ASR:  Desired pre-processor characteristics in ASR basic sensitivity for stationary and dynamic sounds robustness to degraded speech rather insensitive to spectral and temporal smearing robustness to noise and reverberation filter characteristics is BP, PLP, MFCC, RASTA, TRAPS good enough? lateral inhibition (spectral sharpening); dynamics what can be neglected? non-linearities, limited dynamic range, active elements, co-modulation, secondary pitch, etc. Caricature of present-day speech recognizers:  Caricature of present-day speech recognizers fixed pre-processor, fixed features trained with a variety of speech input much global information, but ..... no interrelations monaural, uni-modal input pitch extractor generally not operational performs well on average behavior but ..... does poorly on any type of outlier (OOV, non-native, fast or whispered speech, other communication channel, new topic, new speaker) neglects lots of useful (phonetic) information heavily relies on language model Slide45:  Useful information: durational variability Adopted from Wang (1998) Academia (knowledge) and industry (applications):  Academia (knowledge) and industry (applications) what do industry and universities expect from each other? (panel discussion at E’01) proper education and training  E-masters good exchange between academia & industry participation in joint projects  speech DB adapt to requirements  CAIP Symposium open source approach  Linux, praat, HTK complaints: sometimes bad management and high risk (puts HLT in bad spotlight, e.g. L&H) Information Technology for Homeland Security:  Information Technology for Homeland Security Center for Advanced Information Processing, CAIP Symposium, Rutgers Univ., Nov. 29 “subsequent to events of Sept. 11, CAIP modified its traditional Annual Research Review” “Symposium identifies issues in Homeland Security and encourages research, particularly with university-industry cooperation” e.g., biometric and voice identification; fusing voice and face data; multimodal interfaces for asset deployment; face-tracking for identification; microphone array for speaker tracking E-masters in Language and Speech:  E-masters in Language and Speech Course Content: Theoretical Linguistics Natural Language Processing Phonetics and Phonology Cognitive models for speech language processing Speech signal processing Pattern recognition Language engineering applications http://www.cstr.ed.ac.uk/euromasters/ Conclusions:  Conclusions collecting speech corpora in national languages (like in SA) is and excellent basis, both for research and for applications combine industrial and academic skills make proper use of experiences elsewhere that’s why we are all here at this workshop! good luck and thank you for your attention

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