Google Research

Self-Adaptive Distillation for Multilingual Speech Recognition: Leveraging Student Independence

Abstract

With a large population of the world speaking more than one language, multilingual automatic speech recognition (ASR) has gained popularity in the recent years. While lower resource languages can benefit from quality improvements in a multilingual ASR system, including unrelated or higher resource languages in the mix often results in performance degradation. In this paper, we propose distilling from multiple teachers, with each language using its best teacher during training, to tackle this problem. We introduce self-adaptive distillation, a novel technique for automatic weighting of the distillation loss that uses the student/teachers confidences. We analyze the effectiveness of the proposed techniques on two real world use-cases and show that the performance of the multilingual ASR models can be improved by up to 11.5% without any increase in model capacity. Furthermore, we show that when our methods are combined with increase in model capacity, we can achieve quality gains of up to 20.7%.

Research Areas

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