Personalizing ASR for Dysarthric and Accented Speech with Limited Data

Kavli Affiliate: Michael Brenner

| First 5 Authors: Joel Shor, Dotan Emanuel, Oran Lang, Omry Tuval, Michael Brenner

| Summary:

Automatic speech recognition (ASR) systems have dramatically improved over
the last few years. ASR systems are most often trained from ‘typical’ speech,
which means that underrepresented groups don’t experience the same level of
improvement. In this paper, we present and evaluate finetuning techniques to
improve ASR for users with non-standard speech. We focus on two types of
non-standard speech: speech from people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
(ALS) and accented speech. We train personalized models that achieve 62% and
35% relative WER improvement on these two groups, bringing the absolute WER for
ALS speakers, on a test set of message bank phrases, down to 10% for mild
dysarthria and 20% for more serious dysarthria. We show that 71% of the
improvement comes from only 5 minutes of training data. Finetuning a particular
subset of layers (with many fewer parameters) often gives better results than
finetuning the entire model. This is the first step towards building state of
the art ASR models for dysarthric speech.

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