Bradley McDonnell


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Making More of Little Data: Improving Low-Resource Automatic Speech Recognition Using Data Augmentation
Martijn Bartelds | Nay San | Bradley McDonnell | Dan Jurafsky | Martijn Wieling
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

The performance of automatic speech recognition (ASR) systems has advanced substantially in recent years, particularly for languages for which a large amount of transcribed speech is available. Unfortunately, for low-resource languages, such as minority languages, regional languages or dialects, ASR performance generally remains much lower. In this study, we investigate whether data augmentation techniques could help improve low-resource ASR performance, focusing on four typologically diverse minority languages or language variants (West Germanic: Gronings, West-Frisian; Malayo-Polynesian: Besemah, Nasal). For all four languages, we examine the use of self-training, where an ASR system trained with the available human-transcribed data is used to generate transcriptions, which are then combined with the original data to train a new ASR system. For Gronings, for which there was a pre-existing text-to-speech (TTS) system available, we also examined the use of TTS to generate ASR training data from text-only sources. We find that using a self-training approach consistently yields improved performance (a relative WER reduction up to 20.5% compared to using an ASR system trained on 24 minutes of manually transcribed speech). The performance gain from TTS augmentation for Gronings was even stronger (up to 25.5% relative reduction in WER compared to a system based on 24 minutes of manually transcribed speech). In sum, our results show the benefit of using self-training or (if possible) TTS-generated data as an efficient solution to overcome the limitations of data availability for resource-scarce languages in order to improve ASR performance.

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Leveraging supplementary text data to kick-start automatic speech recognition system development with limited transcriptions
Nay San | Martijn Bartelds | Blaine Billings | Ella de Falco | Hendi Feriza | Johan Safri | Wawan Sahrozi | Ben Foley | Bradley McDonnell | Dan Jurafsky
Proceedings of the Sixth Workshop on the Use of Computational Methods in the Study of Endangered Languages