Speech and Language Technical Committee Newsletter

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Speech and Language Processing

Welcome to the Winter Edition of the Speech and Language Processing Technical Committee (SLTC) Newsletter with the very best wishes for 2021.  

 

As 2020 has drawn to a close we look back at a very challenging year, where most of our members will have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic both in their personal and work lives. 

 

==Chair’s message==

The end of 2020 also means that Eric Fosler-Lussier has stepped down as chair. He has served the SLTC for numerous years and the SLTC has greatly benefitted from his competent, friendly and diligent leadership. We are grateful that he will still be available to the committee, and the community as a whole, in the ‘past chair’ role. 

 

Which leads us on to welcoming our new chair Dong Yu. Please, take a moment to his inaugural chair message here.

 

==Good news==

We’re glad to bring some good news to you in the form of the new IEEE fellows that have recently been announced. Congratulations to the 9 fellows that have all been elected for their contributions to the Speech and Language Processing domain - please, see the full list here.

 

==New initiatives==

The SPS Education Board has been working on ways to reach out to the broader machine learning community, and they are keen to organize a series of activities to support this. These will include research webinars from academia and industry and a short course on a speech-related topic of general interest. If you have any suggestions for suitable speakers, please, fill out this form. We appreciate your input and look forward to announcing more details later.

 

Another initiative is focusing on the intersection of speech processing, robotics, dialogue, and NLP.  A report on "Spoken Language Interaction with Robots: Research Issues and Recommendations" has been developed by the NSF Future Directions workshop on Speech for Robotics. It is designed for students, researchers, and funding agencies to help identify future paths for fruitful research. The report identifies research issues in a number of sub-areas and lists useful recommendations. A truly international team contributed to the workshop and report - please see the full document here and the workshop website here.

Feel free to contact Carol Espy-Wilson (espy@um.edu) if you have additional questions or comments regarding the report.

 

==Conferences and Workshops==

2020 saw widespread disruptions to conferences and workshops with many either going virtual or being postponed. Thankfully, ICASSP submissions took place as scheduled in October and the review process is currently in full swing and will this year contain a rebuttal window to allow authors to respond to reviewers’ comments. Please, see below for announcements of other upcoming events including SLT later this month.

 

*IEEE SLT 2021*

IEEE Spoken Language Technology Workshop (SLT) 2021 is coming close, in a virtual format, from January 19 to 22, 2021! The workshop will feature three keynote speakers (Hynek Hermansky, Xuedong David Huang, and Bhuvana Ramabhadran) and two invited speakers (Verena Rieser, Tomoki Toda). SLT builds a strong program of 151 papers with 46.9% acceptance rate, split into 20 sessions and including two special sessions. The SLT program will also have a panel session around the theme of the workshop - "Spoken language technologies: deep learning and beyond", as well as a demo session. The sessions will take place in the morning and evening in UTC+8 time. We hope this will allow people around the world to find a fairly convenient time to join us. SLT will also host two challenge events – "CSRC: Children Speech Recognition Challenge" and "ASC: Alpha-mini Speech Challenge", which will be summarized at the close ceremony. The Online Conference Portal is open and SLT is warmly welcoming you to join!

 

*IEEE ASRU 2021*

IEEE Workshop on Automatic Speech Recognition and Understanding (ASRU) 2021 will be held in Cartagena, Columbia from December 13 to 17, 2021. It is expected that the workshop will be in person; however, we are aware that it is very hard to predict how the global situation will be in the next months, so we also have a plan for a virtual version of the workshop or a mixture between in-person and virtual sessions. Please consider that Cartagena is located in the Caribbean with a year-round summer climate and is regularly recommended as a world-wide tourism destination with direct flights to many locations including Amsterdam, Panama, Miami, Atlanta, New York, Toronto and Montreal among others. It was also named a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 1984. Further information will be published on the website. We are looking forward to seeing you in Cartagena!

 

*Call for Proposals (IEEE SLT 2022)* 

And finally, looking ahead to 2022, please, see the call for proposals to host next year’s SLT here.

 

This newsletter is an ideal forum for updates, reports, announcements and editorials which don't fit well with traditional journals. We welcome your contributions, as well as calls for papers, job announcements, comments and suggestions. You can submit job postings here, and contact the TC via this form, or send an email to speechnewseds@listserv.ieee.org to propose articles. To subscribe to the Newsletter, send an email with the command "subscribe speechnewsdist" in the message body to listserv@listserv.ieee.org.

 

If you want to stay connected to the IEEE SLTC between newsletters, we are on Twitter @IEEE_SLTC.

 

Finally, with the recent SLTC elections, the various committees have been updated and you can find the new members here. In particular, the Communications Committee that brings you this newsletter has had a change of guards. Many thanks to Andrew Rosenberg for keeping us all in the loop. And we welcome Engin Ezin on board.

 

From all of us: Stay safe and do good.

 

Heidi Christensen, Editor (new)

Engin Ezin, Communications Vice-Chair (in-coming)

Andrew Rosenberg, Communications Vice-Chair (out-going)

 

 

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