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Underserved user groups
User: dg
Date: 10/11/2006 5:09 pm
Views: 2697
Rating: -3


It seems to me this project might be a great vehicle to help user groups who are usually ignored by commercial vendors.  Here I am thinking of people who speak uncommon (or unprofitable) language and dialects, and also of people with speech impairments such as dysarthric speech ( 


--- (Edited on 10/11/2006 5:09 pm [GMT-0500] by Visitor) ---

Re: Underserved user groups
User: kmaclean
Date: 10/11/2006 11:35 pm
Views: 233
Rating: 5

The long term plan is definitely to branch out to other languages.  We need to get some successes under our belt before we do this, so English is the focus for now.

Remember, hundreds of hours of speech are required to create Speaker Independent Acoustic Models.  You can create reasonably good Speaker Dependent Acoustic Models for desktop command and control type applications (not dictation) with much less training by using a 'so-so' Speaker Independent Acoustic Model and adapting it using 20-30 minutes worth of speech audio (HTK says as little as 30-40 sentences, but more is better) - but a model can only be adapted to the same language it was trained with (there is some research where they are working adapting to other languages, but my recollection was that they were not that successful).

In the case of uncommon languages, the issue will likely be to get enough people to submit the required speech data.  But time in on our side, and if we collect good quality speech, then sooner or later, we should have enough audio to create decent Acoustic Models.  Then the problem becomes how to model the language - which is a linguistics/technical issue that can be addressed when the time comes.

With respect to people with speech impairments, we would need some research into understanding whether there are enough commonalities between speakers that will permit the creation of Speaker Independent Acoustic Models.  My sense here is that the impairments may be so specific to the individual that only Speaker Dependent Models would be accurate enough.  That is not to say we can't help once we have stable English Acoustic models - we would need a test case to work out the details.

I've seen specific reference to work being done on dysarthric speech by Turner Rentz in this submission to OSSRI, you might want to contact him for details on their approach to see if we can implement them here.


--- (Edited on 10/12/2006 12:35 am [GMT-0400] by kmaclean) ---

Re: Underserved user groups
User: dg
Date: 10/12/2006 12:18 pm
Views: 275
Rating: 1

Thanks for your reply.   I think your idea of outreach to researchers in the area of recognizing impaired speech is a very good one.  I won't be involving myself, but I appreciate your invitation.

--- (Edited on 10/12/2006 12:18 pm [GMT-0500] by Visitor) ---