SLTC Newsletter - Fall 2013

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SLTC Newsletter - Fall 2013

The Fall 2013 edition of the IEEE Speech and Language Processing Technical Committee’s Newsletter is now online. It includes a number of announcements from the TC chair, as well as a number of articles collated by the editorial boarded. Subscribe to the newsletter to be automatically notified of the new editions. We believe the newsletter is an ideal forum for updates, reports, announcements and editorials, and encourage interested individuals to send us their contributions.

Dilek Hakkani-Tür, Editor-in-chief
William Campbell, Editor
Haizhou Li, Editor
Patrick Nguyen, Editor


Douglas O'ShaughnessyANNOUNCEMENTS

From the IEEE SLTC chair

Douglas O’Shaughnessy

Call for Nominations: Speech and Language Technical Committee (SLTC) Member Positions

Call for Nominations: Vice Chair of the Speech and Language Technical Committee (SLTC)



Overview of ICML 2013 Deep Learning Workshop

Tara N. Sainath and Brian Kingsbury

A workshop on Deep Learning for Audio, Speech and Language Processing was held on June 16, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia as part of the International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML) 2013. Deep learning techniques have enjoyed enormous success in the speech and language processing community over the past few years, beating previous state-of-the-art approaches to acoustic modeling, language modeling, and natural language processing. The focus of this workshop was on deep learning approaches to problems in audio, speech, and language. A variety of talks and papers on new models and learning algorithms that can address some of the challenges of these tasks were presented.

Joint IEEE/ACM Transactions on Audio, Speech, and Language Processing

Mari Ostendorf, Li Deng, Marcello Federico, Steve Renals

On August 2nd 2013, IEEE and ACM announced that the IEEE Transactions on Audio, Speech, and Language Processing (TASLP) and the ACM Transactions on Speech and Language Processing (TSLP) will be published jointly as the IEEE/ACM Transactions on Audio, Speech, and Language Processing, starting January 2014. As the VP Publications of the IEEE Signal Processing Society and as the editors-in-chief of the two merging transactions, we are all delighted with the agreement that has led to these new, merged transactions.

Web-Based Validation for Small Corpora

Mark Hasegawa-Johnson

Speech and language corpora are often created in an open-loop fashion, without continuous unit testing. This article describes a tool available on the SProSIG website that allows investigators creating small corpora to practice test-first corpus development, and to easily publish the result.

A make-over of the Signal Processing Letters

Dilek Hakkani-Tür and Anna Scaglione

Have you ever felt impatient to see an idea published and archived? Perhaps, at the same time, you may have struggled with the decision of submitting that very paper to the Signal Processing Letters. The submission could have prevented you from sharing the ideas, live, in a ICASSP presentation for example, or in a thematic workshop. Both of us, Dilek Z. Hakkani-Tür, as Senior Area Editor, and Anna Scaglione, as Editor in Chief of the Signal Processing Letters, thought of writing this short editorial to specifically target researchers in the areas of Speech and Language Processing to inform you about some significant changes the IEEE Signal Processing Letters has undergone, that can help prospective authors faced with this dilemma.

Scanning the Special Issue of the Proceedings of the IEEE on Speech Information Processing

Douglas O'Shaughnessy, Li Deng, Haizhou Li

In May 2013, Proceedings of the IEEE published a Special Issue (Vol. 101, No. 5) which is dedicated to Speech Information Processing: Theory and Applications. The Special Issue includes 10 Invited Papers, contributed by an international cadre of 26 technical leaders in this field. The electronic version is now available at IEEE Xplore.

Overview of the NIST Open Keyword Search 2013 Evaluation Workshop

Nancy F. Chen, Jonathan G. Fiscus

The NIST Open Keyword Search 2013 (OpenKWS13) Evaluation Workshop was the first in a series of community-wide evaluations to test research systems that search for keywords in audio of a "surprise" language whose identity is unveiled at the beginning of the evaluation period. OpenKWS13 made use of the surprise language data set developed for IARPA's Babel Program that was made available to the wider research community. During the past 15 months, the four Babel teams were given four development language build packs to develop keyword search capabilities across languages. This was followed up by an evaluation on a surprise language that was held from March 25 to May 1, 2013; participants had four weeks to build their systems and one week to return keyword search results once the keywords were provided by NIST. While only the Babel teams worked with and were evaluated on the four development language packs, the Surprise Language Evaluation was open to the entire speech research community. The ultimate goal of the Babel program is to be able to rapidly develop keyword search spoken language technologies for ANY language, especially for under-resourced languages where linguistic resources such as word transcriptions are limited. Currently, most spoken language technologies are only extensively investigated using a few resource-rich languages such as English. The Babel initiative is particularly meaningful given that there are over 7,000 languages in the world, of which over 300 have more than one million speakers.

Interview: Speech Interfaces for Low-Literate Users

Matthew Marge

Information and communication technologies for development (ICT4D for short) are software tools designed for societies in the developing world. A common feature of developing societies is the lack of a literate population, which can prevent people from taking full advantage of today’s modern technologies. Agha Ali Raza and his colleagues have developed a speech-based technology that has reached tens of thousands of people in the developing world.

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