Google Research

Exploring sequence-to-sequence Transformer-Transducer models for keyword spotting

ICASSP 2023 - 2023 IEEE International Conference on Acoustics, Speech and Signal Processing (ICASSP)


In this paper, we present a novel approach to adapt a sequence-to-sequence Transformer-Transducer ASR system to the keyword spotting (KWS) task. We achieve this by replacing the keyword in the text transcription with a special token kw and training the system to detect the kw token in an audio stream. At inference time, we create a decision function inspired by conventional KWS approaches, to make our approach more suitable for the KWS task. Furthermore, we introduce a specific keyword spotting loss by adapting the sequence-discriminative Minimum Bayes-Risk training technique. We find that our approach significantly outperforms ASR based KWS systems. When compared with a conventional keyword spotting system, our proposal has similar performance while bringing the advantages and flexibility of sequence-to-sequence training. Additionally, when combined with the conventional KWS system, our approach can improve the performance at any operation point.

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