We present the Zero Resource Speech Challenge 2020, which aims at learning speech representations from raw audio signals without any labels. It combines the data sets and metrics from two previous benchmarks (2017 and 2019) and features two tasks which tap into two levels of speech representation. The first task is to discover low bit-rate subword representations that optimize the quality of speech synthesis; the second one is to discover word-like units from unsegmented raw speech. We present the results of the twenty submitted models and discuss the implications of the main findings for unsupervised speech learning.
We present a first attempt to perform attentional word segmentation directly from the speech signal, with the final goal to automatically identify lexical units in a low-resource, unwritten language (UL). Our methodology assumes a pairing between recordings in the UL with translations in a well-resourced language. It uses Acoustic Unit Discovery (AUD) to convert speech into a sequence of pseudo-phones that is segmented using neural soft-alignments produced by a neural machine translation model. Evaluation uses an actual Bantu UL, Mboshi; comparisons to monolingual and bilingual baselines illustrate the potential of attentional word segmentation for language documentation. Index Terms:computational language documentation, encoder-decoder models, attentional models, unsupervised word segmentation.
We present the Zero Resource Speech Challenge 2019, which proposes to build a speech synthesizer without any text or phonetic labels: hence, TTS without T (text-to-speech without text). We provide raw audio for a target voice in an unknown language (the Voice dataset), but no alignment, text or labels. Participants must discover subword units in an unsupervised way (using the Unit Discovery dataset) and align them to the voice recordings in a way that works best for the purpose of synthesizing novel utterances from novel speakers, similar to the target speaker's voice. We describe the metrics used for evaluation, a baseline system consisting of unsupervised subword unit discovery plus a standard TTS system, and a topline TTS using gold phoneme transcriptions. We present an overview of the 19 submitted systems from 10 teams and discuss the main results.
This work tackles the problem of learning a set of language specific acoustic units from unlabeled speech recordings given a set of labeled recordings from other languages. Our approach may be described by the following two steps procedure: first the model learns the notion of acoustic units from the labelled data and then the model uses its knowledge to find new acoustic units on the target language. We implement this process with the Bayesian Subspace Hidden Markov Model (SHMM), a model akin to the Subspace Gaussian Mixture Model (SGMM) where each low dimensional embedding represents an acoustic unit rather than just a HMM's state. The subspace is trained on 3 languages from the GlobalPhone corpus (German, Polish and Spanish) and the AUs are discovered on the TIMIT corpus. Results, measured in equivalent Phone Error Rate, show that this approach significantly outperforms previous HMM based acoustic units discovery systems and compares favorably with the Variational Auto Encoder-HMM.
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