Chung-Ming Chien


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What Do Self-Supervised Speech Models Know About Words?
Ankita Pasad | Chung-Ming Chien | Shane Settle | Karen Livescu
Transactions of the Association for Computational Linguistics, Volume 12

Many self-supervised speech models (S3Ms) have been introduced over the last few years, improving performance and data efficiency on various speech tasks. However, these empirical successes alone do not give a complete picture of what is learned during pre-training. Recent work has begun analyzing how S3Ms encode certain properties, such as phonetic and speaker information, but we still lack a proper understanding of knowledge encoded at the word level and beyond. In this work, we use lightweight analysis methods to study segment-level linguistic properties—word identity, boundaries, pronunciation, syntactic features, and semantic features—encoded in S3Ms. We present a comparative study of layer-wise representations from ten S3Ms and find that (i) the frame-level representations within each word segment are not all equally informative, and (ii) the pre-training objective and model size heavily influence the accessibility and distribution of linguistic information across layers. We also find that on several tasks—word discrimination, word segmentation, and semantic sentence similarity—S3Ms trained with visual grounding outperform their speech-only counterparts. Finally, our task-based analyses demonstrate improved performance on word segmentation and acoustic word discrimination while using simpler methods than prior work.1


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Toward Joint Language Modeling for Speech Units and Text
Ju-Chieh Chou | Chung-Ming Chien | Wei-Ning Hsu | Karen Livescu | Arun Babu | Alexis Conneau | Alexei Baevski | Michael Auli
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2023

Speech and text are two major forms of human language. The research community has been focusing on mapping speech to text or vice versa for many years. However, in the field of language modeling, very little effort has been made to model them jointly. In light of this, we explore joint language modeling for speech units and text. Specifically, we compare different speech tokenizers to transform continuous speech signals into discrete units and use different methods to construct mixed speech-text data. We introduce automatic metrics to evaluate how well the joint LM mixes speech and text. We also fine-tune the LM on downstream spoken language understanding (SLU) tasks with different modalities (speech or text) and test its performance to assess the model’s learning of shared representations. Our results show that by mixing speech units and text with our proposed mixing techniques, the joint LM improves over a speech-only baseline on SLU tasks and shows zero-shot cross-modal transferability.