Google Research

Personalizing ASR for Dysarthric and Accented Speech with Limited Data

Abstract

Automatic speech recognition (ASR) systems have dramatically improved over the last few years. ASR systems are most often trained from ‘typical’ speech, which means that underrepresented groups don’t experience the same level of improvement. In this paper, we present and evaluate finetuning techniques to improve ASR for users with non standard speech. We focus on two types of non standard speech: speech from people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and accented speech. We train personalized models that achieve 62% and 35% relative WER improvement on these two groups, bringing the absolute WER for ALS speakers, on a test set of message bank phrases, to 10% for mild dysarthria and 20% for more serious dysarthria. We show that 76% of the improvement comes from only 5 min of training data. Finetuning a particular subset of layers (with many fewer parameters) often gives better results than finetuning the entire model. This is the first step towards building state of the art ASR models for dysarthric speech

Index Terms: speech recognition, personalization, accessibility

Learn more about how we do research

We maintain a portfolio of research projects, providing individuals and teams the freedom to emphasize specific types of work