Models, code, and papers for "Kanishka Rao":
We investigate training end-to-end speech recognition models with the recurrent neural network transducer (RNN-T): a streaming, all-neural, sequence-to-sequence architecture which jointly learns acoustic and language model components from transcribed acoustic data. We explore various model architectures and demonstrate how the model can be improved further if additional text or pronunciation data are available. The model consists of an `encoder', which is initialized from a connectionist temporal classification-based (CTC) acoustic model, and a `decoder' which is partially initialized from a recurrent neural network language model trained on text data alone. The entire neural network is trained with the RNN-T loss and directly outputs the recognized transcript as a sequence of graphemes, thus performing end-to-end speech recognition. We find that performance can be improved further through the use of sub-word units (`wordpieces') which capture longer context and significantly reduce substitution errors. The best RNN-T system, a twelve-layer LSTM encoder with a two-layer LSTM decoder trained with 30,000 wordpieces as output targets achieves a word error rate of 8.5\% on voice-search and 5.2\% on voice-dictation tasks and is comparable to a state-of-the-art baseline at 8.3\% on voice-search and 5.4\% voice-dictation.
We show that a word-level recurrent neural network can predict emoji from text typed on a mobile keyboard. We demonstrate the usefulness of transfer learning for predicting emoji by pretraining the model using a language modeling task. We also propose mechanisms to trigger emoji and tune the diversity of candidates. The model is trained using a distributed on-device learning framework called federated learning. The federated model is shown to achieve better performance than a server-trained model. This work demonstrates the feasibility of using federated learning to train production-quality models for natural language understanding tasks while keeping users' data on their devices.
We have recently shown that deep Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM) recurrent neural networks (RNNs) outperform feed forward deep neural networks (DNNs) as acoustic models for speech recognition. More recently, we have shown that the performance of sequence trained context dependent (CD) hidden Markov model (HMM) acoustic models using such LSTM RNNs can be equaled by sequence trained phone models initialized with connectionist temporal classification (CTC). In this paper, we present techniques that further improve performance of LSTM RNN acoustic models for large vocabulary speech recognition. We show that frame stacking and reduced frame rate lead to more accurate models and faster decoding. CD phone modeling leads to further improvements. We also present initial results for LSTM RNN models outputting words directly.
We develop streaming keyword spotting systems using a recurrent neural network transducer (RNN-T) model: an all-neural, end-to-end trained, sequence-to-sequence model which jointly learns acoustic and language model components. Our models are trained to predict either phonemes or graphemes as subword units, thus allowing us to detect arbitrary keyword phrases, without any out-of-vocabulary words. In order to adapt the models to the requirements of keyword spotting, we propose a novel technique which biases the RNN-T system towards a specific keyword of interest. Our systems are compared against a strong sequence-trained, connectionist temporal classification (CTC) based "keyword-filler" baseline, which is augmented with a separate phoneme language model. Overall, our RNN-T system with the proposed biasing technique significantly improves performance over the baseline system.
In this work, we consider the problem of model selection for deep reinforcement learning (RL) in real-world environments. Typically, the performance of deep RL algorithms is evaluated via on-policy interactions with the target environment. However, comparing models in a real-world environment for the purposes of early stopping or hyperparameter tuning is costly and often practically infeasible. This leads us to examine off-policy policy evaluation (OPE) in such settings. We focus on OPE for value-based methods, which are of particular interest in deep RL, with applications like robotics, where off-policy algorithms based on Q-function estimation can often attain better sample complexity than direct policy optimization. Existing OPE metrics either rely on a model of the environment, or the use of importance sampling (IS) to correct for the data being off-policy. However, for high-dimensional observations, such as images, models of the environment can be difficult to fit and value-based methods can make IS hard to use or even ill-conditioned, especially when dealing with continuous action spaces. In this paper, we focus on the specific case of MDPs with continuous action spaces and sparse binary rewards, which is representative of many important real-world applications. We propose an alternative metric that relies on neither models nor IS, by framing OPE as a positive-unlabeled (PU) classification problem with the Q-function as the decision function. We experimentally show that this metric outperforms baselines on a number of tasks. Most importantly, it can reliably predict the relative performance of different policies in a number of generalization scenarios, including the transfer to the real-world of policies trained in simulation for an image-based robotic manipulation task.
We train a recurrent neural network language model using a distributed, on-device learning framework called federated learning for the purpose of next-word prediction in a virtual keyboard for smartphones. Server-based training using stochastic gradient descent is compared with training on client devices using the Federated Averaging algorithm. The federated algorithm, which enables training on a higher-quality dataset for this use case, is shown to achieve better prediction recall. This work demonstrates the feasibility and benefit of training language models on client devices without exporting sensitive user data to servers. The federated learning environment gives users greater control over their data and simplifies the task of incorporating privacy by default with distributed training and aggregation across a population of client devices.
Training a conventional automatic speech recognition (ASR) system to support multiple languages is challenging because the sub-word unit, lexicon and word inventories are typically language specific. In contrast, sequence-to-sequence models are well suited for multilingual ASR because they encapsulate an acoustic, pronunciation and language model jointly in a single network. In this work we present a single sequence-to-sequence ASR model trained on 9 different Indian languages, which have very little overlap in their scripts. Specifically, we take a union of language-specific grapheme sets and train a grapheme-based sequence-to-sequence model jointly on data from all languages. We find that this model, which is not explicitly given any information about language identity, improves recognition performance by 21% relative compared to analogous sequence-to-sequence models trained on each language individually. By modifying the model to accept a language identifier as an additional input feature, we further improve performance by an additional 7% relative and eliminate confusion between different languages.
We describe a large vocabulary speech recognition system that is accurate, has low latency, and yet has a small enough memory and computational footprint to run faster than real-time on a Nexus 5 Android smartphone. We employ a quantized Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM) acoustic model trained with connectionist temporal classification (CTC) to directly predict phoneme targets, and further reduce its memory footprint using an SVD-based compression scheme. Additionally, we minimize our memory footprint by using a single language model for both dictation and voice command domains, constructed using Bayesian interpolation. Finally, in order to properly handle device-specific information, such as proper names and other context-dependent information, we inject vocabulary items into the decoder graph and bias the language model on-the-fly. Our system achieves 13.5% word error rate on an open-ended dictation task, running with a median speed that is seven times faster than real-time.
This work presents a scalable solution to open-vocabulary visual speech recognition. To achieve this, we constructed the largest existing visual speech recognition dataset, consisting of pairs of text and video clips of faces speaking (3,886 hours of video). In tandem, we designed and trained an integrated lipreading system, consisting of a video processing pipeline that maps raw video to stable videos of lips and sequences of phonemes, a scalable deep neural network that maps the lip videos to sequences of phoneme distributions, and a production-level speech decoder that outputs sequences of words. The proposed system achieves a word error rate (WER) of 40.9% as measured on a held-out set. In comparison, professional lipreaders achieve either 86.4% or 92.9% WER on the same dataset when having access to additional types of contextual information. Our approach significantly improves on other lipreading approaches, including variants of LipNet and of Watch, Attend, and Spell (WAS), which are only capable of 89.8% and 76.8% WER respectively.
Attention-based encoder-decoder architectures such as Listen, Attend, and Spell (LAS), subsume the acoustic, pronunciation and language model components of a traditional automatic speech recognition (ASR) system into a single neural network. In previous work, we have shown that such architectures are comparable to state-of-theart ASR systems on dictation tasks, but it was not clear if such architectures would be practical for more challenging tasks such as voice search. In this work, we explore a variety of structural and optimization improvements to our LAS model which significantly improve performance. On the structural side, we show that word piece models can be used instead of graphemes. We also introduce a multi-head attention architecture, which offers improvements over the commonly-used single-head attention. On the optimization side, we explore synchronous training, scheduled sampling, label smoothing, and minimum word error rate optimization, which are all shown to improve accuracy. We present results with a unidirectional LSTM encoder for streaming recognition. On a 12, 500 hour voice search task, we find that the proposed changes improve the WER from 9.2% to 5.6%, while the best conventional system achieves 6.7%; on a dictation task our model achieves a WER of 4.1% compared to 5% for the conventional system.
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.