Amir Hussein


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JHU IWSLT 2023 Dialect Speech Translation System Description
Amir Hussein | Cihan Xiao | Neha Verma | Thomas Thebaud | Matthew Wiesner | Sanjeev Khudanpur
Proceedings of the 20th International Conference on Spoken Language Translation (IWSLT 2023)

This paper presents JHU’s submissions to the IWSLT 2023 dialectal and low-resource track of Tunisian Arabic to English speech translation. The Tunisian dialect lacks formal orthography and abundant training data, making it challenging to develop effective speech translation (ST) systems. To address these challenges, we explore the integration of large pre-trained machine translation (MT) models, such as mBART and NLLB-200 in both end-to-end (E2E) and cascaded speech translation (ST) systems. We also improve the performance of automatic speech recognition (ASR) through the use of pseudo-labeling data augmentation and channel matching on telephone data. Finally, we combine our E2E and cascaded ST systems with Minimum Bayes-Risk decoding. Our combined system achieves a BLEU score of 21.6 and 19.1 on test2 and test3, respectively.


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JHU IWSLT 2022 Dialect Speech Translation System Description
Jinyi Yang | Amir Hussein | Matthew Wiesner | Sanjeev Khudanpur
Proceedings of the 19th International Conference on Spoken Language Translation (IWSLT 2022)

This paper details the Johns Hopkins speech translation (ST) system used in the IWLST2022 dialect speech translation task. Our system uses a cascade of automatic speech recognition (ASR) and machine translation (MT). We use a Conformer model for ASR systems and a Transformer model for machine translation. Surprisingly, we found that while using additional ASR training data resulted in only a negligible change in performance as measured by BLEU or word error rate (WER), aggressive text normalization improved BLEU more significantly. We also describe an approach, similar to back-translation, for improving performance using synthetic dialectal source text produced from source sentences in mismatched dialects.


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QASR: QCRI Aljazeera Speech Resource A Large Scale Annotated Arabic Speech Corpus
Hamdy Mubarak | Amir Hussein | Shammur Absar Chowdhury | Ahmed Ali
Proceedings of the 59th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 11th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (Volume 1: Long Papers)

We introduce the largest transcribed Arabic speech corpus, QASR, collected from the broadcast domain. This multi-dialect speech dataset contains 2,000 hours of speech sampled at 16kHz crawled from Aljazeera news channel. The dataset is released with lightly supervised transcriptions, aligned with the audio segments. Unlike previous datasets, QASR contains linguistically motivated segmentation, punctuation, speaker information among others. QASR is suitable for training and evaluating speech recognition systems, acoustics- and/or linguistics- based Arabic dialect identification, punctuation restoration, speaker identification, speaker linking, and potentially other NLP modules for spoken data. In addition to QASR transcription, we release a dataset of 130M words to aid in designing and training a better language model. We show that end-to-end automatic speech recognition trained on QASR reports a competitive word error rate compared to the previous MGB-2 corpus. We report baseline results for downstream natural language processing tasks such as named entity recognition using speech transcript. We also report the first baseline for Arabic punctuation restoration. We make the corpus available for the research community.