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A number of recent studies have started to investigate how speech systems can be trained on untranscribed speech by leveraging accompanying images at training time. Examples of tasks include keyword prediction and within- and acrossmode retrieval. Here we consider how such models can be used for query-by-example (QbE) search, the task of retrieving utterances relevant to a given spoken query. We are particularly interested in semantic QbE, where the task is not only to retrieve utterances containing exact instances of the query, but also utterances whose meaning is relevant to the query. We follow a segmental QbE approach where variable-durationmore »
Recent work has shown that speech paired with images can be used to learn semantically meaningful speech representations even without any textual supervision. In real-world low-resource settings, however, we often have access to some transcribed speech. We study whether and how visual grounding is useful in the presence of varying amounts of textual supervision. In particular, we consider the task of semantic speech retrieval in a low-resource setting. We use a previously studied data set and task, where models are trained on images with spoken captions and evaluated on human judgments of semantic relevance. We propose a multitask learning approachmore »
Direct acoustics-to-word (A2W) systems for end-to-end automatic speech recognition are simpler to train, and more efficient to decode with, than sub-word systems. However, A2W systems can have difficulties at training time when data is limited, and at decoding time when recognizing words outside the training vocabulary. To address these shortcomings, we investigate the use of recently proposed acoustic and acoustically grounded word embedding techniques in A2W systems. The idea is based on treating the final pre-softmax weight matrix of an AWE recognizer as a matrix of word embedding vectors, and using an externally trained set of word embeddings to improvemore »
We present a simple approach to improve direct speech-to-text translation (ST) when the source language is low-resource: we pre-train the model on a high-resource automatic speech recognition (ASR) task, and then fine-tune its parameters for ST. We demonstrate that our approach is effective by pre-training on 300 hours of English ASR data to improve SpanishEnglish ST from 10.8 to 20.2 BLEU when only 20 hours of Spanish-English ST training data are available. Through an ablation study, we find that the pre-trained encoder (acoustic model) accounts for most of the improvement, despite the fact that the shared language in these tasksmore »