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Oscar Chang

Oscar Chang

Oscar Chang is a researcher in the audio-visual speech recognition team.
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    Preview abstract In streaming settings, speech recognition models have to map sub-sequences of speech to text before the full audio stream becomes available. However, since alignment information between speech and text is rarely available during training, models need to learn it in a completely self-supervised way. In practice, the exponential number of possible alignments makes this extremely challenging, with models often learning peaky or sub-optimal alignments. Prima facie, the exponential nature of the alignment space makes it difficult to even quantify the uncertainty of a model's alignment distribution. Fortunately, it has been known for decades that the entropy of a probabilistic finite state transducer can be computed in time linear to the size of the transducer via a dynamic programming reduction based on semirings. In this work, we revisit the entropy semiring for neural speech recognition models, and show how alignment entropy can be used to supervise models through regularization or distillation. We also contribute an open-source implementation of CTC and RNN-T in the semiring framework that includes numerically stable and highly parallel variants of the entropy semiring. Empirically, we observe that the addition of alignment distillation improves the accuracy and latency of an already well-optimized teacher-student distillation model, achieving state-of-the-art performance on the Librispeech dataset in the streaming scenario. View details
    Preview abstract It has been shown that learning audiovisual features can lead to improved speech recognition performance over audio-only features, especially for noisy speech. However, in many common applications, the visual features are partially or entirely missing, e.g.~the speaker might move off screen. Multi-modal models need to be robust: missing video frames should not degrade the performance of an audiovisual model to be worse than that of a single-modality audio-only model. While there have been many attempts at building robust models, there is little consensus on how robustness should be evaluated. To address this, we introduce a framework that allows claims about robustness to be evaluated in a precise and testable way. We also conduct a systematic empirical study of the robustness of common audiovisual speech recognition architectures on a range of acoustic noise conditions and test suites. Finally, we show that an architecture-agnostic solution based on cascades can consistently achieve robustness to missing video, even in settings where existing techniques for robustness like dropout fall short. View details
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