Postdoctoral researcher

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Postdoctoral researcher

Organization: 
University of Stellenbosch
Country of Position: 
South Africa
Contact Name: 
Thomas Niesler
Subject Area: 
Speech and Language Processing
Start Date: 
January 23, 2019
Expiration Date: 
March 31, 2019
Position Description: 

Post-doctoral research position:

Extremely-low-resource radio browsing for humanitarian monitoring

Stellenbosch University, South Africa

A post-doctoral research position focussing on the automatic identification of spoken keywords in multilingual environments with extremely few or even no resources using state-of-the-art architectures is available in the Digital Signal Processing Group of the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at the University of Stellenbosch. This is part of an ongoing project to develop wordspotters that can be used to monitor community radio broadcasts in rural African regions as a source of early warning information during natural disasters, disease outbreaks, or other crises. This phase of the project will consider several languages spoken in Mali, at least some of which are severely under-resourced and have not been the subject of speech technology research before. Specific project objectives include the development of a research system, the development of deployable system, the development of new methods and techniques and the production of associated publishable outputs. The position is part of a collaborative project with the United Nations Global Pulse. References to papers already produced as part of the project are listed below, and some general further information is available at http://pulselabkampala.ug/.

Applicants must hold a PhD (obtained within the last 5 years) in the field of Electronic/Electrical Engineering, Information Engineering, or Computer Science, or other relevant disciplines. Suitable candidates must have practical experience with automatic speech recognition systems in general and deep neural net architectures in particular, and should have an excellent background in statistical modelling and machine learning. The candidate must also have good programming skills and be able to use high level programming languages for developing prototype systems. Finally, candidates must have excellent English writing skills and have an explicit interest in scientific research and publication.

The position will be available for one year, with a possible extension to a second year, depending on progress and available funds.

Applications should include a covering letter, curriculum vitae, list of publications, research projects, conference participation and details of three contactable referees and should be sent as soon as possible to: Prof Thomas Niesler, Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, University of Stellenbosch, Private Bag X1, Matieland 7602. Applications can also be sent by email to: trn@sun.ac.za. The successful applicant will be subject to University policies and procedures.

Interested applicants are welcome to contact me at the above e-mail address for further information regarding the project.

References:

  1. Menon, R; Biswas, A; Saeb, A; Quinn, J; Niesler, T.R. Automatic Speech Recognition for Humanitarian Applications in Somali. Proceedings of SLTU, Gurugram, India, August 2018.
  2. Menon, R; Kamper, H; Yilmaz, E; Quinn, J; Niesler, T.R. ASR-free CNN-DTW keyword spotting using multilingual bottleneck features for almost zero-resource languages.. Proceedings of SLTU, Gurugram, India, August 2018.
  3. Menon, R; Kamper, H; Quinn, J; Niesler, T.R. Fast ASR-free and almost zero-resource keyword spotting using DTW and CNNs for humanitarian monitoring. Proceedings of Interspeech, Hyderabad, India, September 2018.
  4. Saeb, A; Menon, R; Cameron, H; Kibira, W; Quinn, J; Niesler, T.R. Very low resource radio browsing for agile developmental and humanitarian monitoring. Proceedings of Interspeech, Stockholm, Sweden, August 2017.
  5. Menon, R; Saeb, A; Cameron, H; Kibira, W; Quinn, J; Niesler, T.R. Radio-browsing for Developmental Monitoring in Uganda. Proceedings of the 42nd IEEE International Conference on Acoustics, Speech and Signal Processing (ICASSP), New Orleans, USA, March 2017.

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