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Dear Speech and Language Processing Community,
Happy new year! Year 2020 has been very unusual for many of us as Covid-19 has changed our lives in many ways. Thankfully, we start to see the light of morning when we get to the year 2021. We know more about the virus and we now have access to effective vaccines. I hope that the world will quickly recover from the pandemic and we all have a bright 2021.
At this moment we are in the middle of ICASSP 2021 review process. ICASSP has been, and will still be, an important event in the speech and language processing community. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the people who submitted papers to ICASSP and who are working hard to make ICASSP successful. Despite the pandemic, our community has been keeping growing. This year we received 995 ICASSP submissions in the areas of Speech Processing and Human Language Technologies, which is slightly more than that in ICASSP 2020. To select interesting papers for presentation, each paper in our area is reviewed by 3 reviewers (from a cadre of 1228 reviewers, a ~35% increase from last year). Authors will have opportunity to submit a rebuttal this year. A metareview will be conducted for each paper by one of 65 technical committee members and associate members, who carefully reads the papers, reviewers’ comments, and authors’ rebuttal to make an initial recommendation. A team of 9 area chairs then works together to bring a balanced program based on the parameters set by the ICASSP technical chairs.
We refresh SLTC members at the end of each year. I am very thankful to those who are retiring from the SLTC with their term ending in 2020: Masami Akamine, Visar Berisha, Asli Celikyilmaz, Mounya Elhilali, Raul Fernandez, Reinhold Haeb-Umbach, Ville Hautamäki, Chiori Hori, Takehiro Moriya, Ani Nenkova, Patrick Nguyen, Andrew Rosenberg, Koichi Shinoda, Jason Williams. They have dedicated their time and energy to help with at least four ICASSP review processes and to serve and promote our community through initiatives and activities. I would like to especially thank Eric Fosler-Lussier, who has just finished his term as SLTC Chair and will serve as Past Chair in 2021. Eric has done a tremendous amount during his tenure as Chair to position our technical committee to more effectively serve our community. I will continue working with him closely and get help and advice from him.
I would like to welcome newly elected SLTC members: Hagai Aronowitz, Roberto Barra-Chicote, Paola Garcia, Hung-yi Lee, Abdelrahman Mohamed, Douglas O'Shaughnessy, Seokhwan Kim, Sakriani Sakti, Jan Skoglund, Yu Tsao, Jesus Villalba, William Wang, Zhizheng Wu, and Xiao-Lei Zhang, reelected members: Marc Delcroix, Sadao Hiroya, Jinyu Li, Erik McDermott, and Takuya Yoshioka, and appointed associate members Erica Cooper, Sibel Oyman, Tara Sainath, Berrak Sisman, Yao Qian, Lei Xie, and Kai Yu. They have been helping the ICASSP review process already. I look forward to working with the new members in the coming year.
Each year IEEE recognizes members with extraordinary accomplishments through a distinct grade – Fellow. I would like to congratulate following speech and language processing researchers who were elevated to IEEE Fellow in 2021:
Sharon Gannot - for contributions to acoustical modelling and statistical learning in speech enhancement;
Jingdong Chen - for contributions to microphone array processing and speech enhancement in noisy and reverberant environments;
Yifan Gong - for leadership in creating cloud speech recognition services in industry.
Lori Lamel - for contributions to automatic speech recognition;
Yang Liu - for contributions to speech understanding and language learning technology;
Tomohiro Nakatani - for contributions to far-field signal processing for speech enhancement and recognition;
Martin Reddy - for contributions to conversational artificial intelligence;
Ruhi Sarikaya - for leadership in spoken-language-processing and conversational understanding systems;
Tuomas Virtanen - for contributions to sound event detection and source separation.
IEEE SPS members’ accomplishments are also recognized by various awards. I would like to congratulate 2020 award winners in the speech and language processing community:
Industrial Innovation Award
James D. Johnston, Karlheinz Brandenburg, and Jürgen Herre - for contributions to the standardization of audio coding technology.
Amar G. Bose Industrial Leader Award
Henrique S. Malvar - for contributions to multimedia signal processing and industrial research leadership.
Signal Processing Letters Best Paper Award
Justin Salamon and Juan Pablo Bello - for the paper “Deep Convolutional Neural Networks and Data Augmentation for Environmental Sound Classification” published at IEEE Signal Processing Letters, March 2017.
Sustained Impact Paper Award
Yariv Ephraim and David Malah - for the paper “Speech Enhancement Using a Minimum Mean Square Error Short-Time Spectral Amplitude Estimator” published at IEEE Transactions on Acoustics, Speech, and Signal Processing, December 1984
Young Author Best Paper Award
Yuki Saito, Shinnosuke Takamichi, and Hiroshi Saruwatari - for the paper "Statistical Parametric Speech Synthesis Incorporating Generative Adversarial Networks" published at IEEE/ACM Transactions on Audio, Speech, and Language Processing. January 2018.
Best Paper Award
Po-Sen Huang, Minje Kim, Mark Hasegawa-Johnson, and Paris Smaragdis - for the paper “Joint Optimization of Masks and Deep Recurrent Neural Networks for Monaural Source Separation” published at IEEE/ACM Transactions on Audio, Speech, and Language Processing, December 2015;
Grégoire Mesnil, Yann Dauphin, Kaisheng Yao, Yoshua Bengio, Li Deng, Dilek Hakkani-Tur, Xiaodong He, Larry Heck, Gokhan Tur, Dong Yu, Geoffrey Zweig - for the paper “Using Recurrent Neural Networks for Slot Filling in Spoken Language Understanding” published at IEEE/ACM Transactions on Audio, Speech, and Language Processing, March 2015.
Due to the pandemic, the 2021 (was 2020) Spoken Language Technology Workshop (Shenzhen, China) will happen in Jan 2021 as a virtual conference. SLT 2021 adopted the double-blinded review process with an author rebuttal component. The technical committee eventually accepted 151 papers out of 322 submissions. We hope the workshop will be successful and fruitful.
Stay safe. I wish you all the best in 2021 and hope to see you soon face to face.
Chair, Speech and Language Technical Committee
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