Models, code, and papers for "Golan Pundak":
Improving the representation of contextual information is key to unlocking the potential of end-to-end (E2E) automatic speech recognition (ASR). In this work, we present a novel and simple approach for training an ASR context mechanism with difficult negative examples. The main idea is to focus on proper nouns (e.g., unique entities such as names of people and places) in the reference transcript, and use phonetically similar phrases as negative examples, encouraging the neural model to learn more discriminative representations. We apply our approach to an end-to-end contextual ASR model that jointly learns to transcribe and select the correct context items, and show that our proposed method gives up to $53.1\%$ relative improvement in word error rate (WER) across several benchmarks.
Contextual automatic speech recognition, i.e., biasing recognition towards a given context (e.g. user's playlists, or contacts), is challenging in end-to-end (E2E) models. Such models maintain a limited number of candidates during beam-search decoding, and have been found to recognize rare named entities poorly. The problem is exacerbated when biasing towards proper nouns in foreign languages, e.g., geographic location names, which are virtually unseen in training and are thus out-of-vocabulary (OOV). While grapheme or wordpiece E2E models might have a difficult time spelling OOV words, phonemes are more acoustically salient and past work has shown that E2E phoneme models can better predict such words. In this work, we propose an E2E model containing both English wordpieces and phonemes in the modeling space, and perform contextual biasing of foreign words at the phoneme level by mapping pronunciations of foreign words into similar English phonemes. In experimental evaluations, we find that the proposed approach performs 16% better than a grapheme-only biasing model, and 8% better than a wordpiece-only biasing model on a foreign place name recognition task, with only slight degradation on regular English tasks.
In automatic speech recognition (ASR) what a user says depends on the particular context she is in. Typically, this context is represented as a set of word n-grams. In this work, we present a novel, all-neural, end-to-end (E2E) ASR sys- tem that utilizes such context. Our approach, which we re- fer to as Contextual Listen, Attend and Spell (CLAS) jointly- optimizes the ASR components along with embeddings of the context n-grams. During inference, the CLAS system can be presented with context phrases which might contain out-of- vocabulary (OOV) terms not seen during training. We com- pare our proposed system to a more traditional contextualiza- tion approach, which performs shallow-fusion between inde- pendently trained LAS and contextual n-gram models during beam search. Across a number of tasks, we find that the pro- posed CLAS system outperforms the baseline method by as much as 68% relative WER, indicating the advantage of joint optimization over individually trained components. Index Terms: speech recognition, sequence-to-sequence models, listen attend and spell, LAS, attention, embedded speech recognition.
Current state-of-the-art automatic speech recognition systems are trained to work in specific `domains', defined based on factors like application, sampling rate and codec. When such recognizers are used in conditions that do not match the training domain, performance significantly drops. This work explores the idea of building a single domain-invariant model for varied use-cases by combining large scale training data from multiple application domains. Our final system is trained using 162,000 hours of speech. Additionally, each utterance is artificially distorted during training to simulate effects like background noise, codec distortion, and sampling rates. Our results show that, even at such a scale, a model thus trained works almost as well as those fine-tuned to specific subsets: A single model can be robust to multiple application domains, and variations like codecs and noise. More importantly, such models generalize better to unseen conditions and allow for rapid adaptation -- we show that by using as little as 10 hours of data from a new domain, an adapted domain-invariant model can match performance of a domain-specific model trained from scratch using 70 times as much data. We also highlight some of the limitations of such models and areas that need addressing in future work.
End-to-end (E2E) models, which directly predict output character sequences given input speech, are good candidates for on-device speech recognition. E2E models, however, present numerous challenges: In order to be truly useful, such models must decode speech utterances in a streaming fashion, in real time; they must be robust to the long tail of use cases; they must be able to leverage user-specific context (e.g., contact lists); and above all, they must be extremely accurate. In this work, we describe our efforts at building an E2E speech recognizer using a recurrent neural network transducer. In experimental evaluations, we find that the proposed approach can outperform a conventional CTC-based model in terms of both latency and accuracy in a number of evaluation categories.
Lingvo is a Tensorflow framework offering a complete solution for collaborative deep learning research, with a particular focus towards sequence-to-sequence models. Lingvo models are composed of modular building blocks that are flexible and easily extensible, and experiment configurations are centralized and highly customizable. Distributed training and quantized inference are supported directly within the framework, and it contains existing implementations of a large number of utilities, helper functions, and the newest research ideas. Lingvo has been used in collaboration by dozens of researchers in more than 20 papers over the last two years. This document outlines the underlying design of Lingvo and serves as an introduction to the various pieces of the framework, while also offering examples of advanced features that showcase the capabilities of the framework.