Srikanth Ronanki


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Robust Prediction of Punctuation and Truecasing for Medical ASR
Monica Sunkara | Srikanth Ronanki | Kalpit Dixit | Sravan Bodapati | Katrin Kirchhoff
Proceedings of the First Workshop on Natural Language Processing for Medical Conversations

Automatic speech recognition (ASR) systems in the medical domain that focus on transcribing clinical dictations and doctor-patient conversations often pose many challenges due to the complexity of the domain. ASR output typically undergoes automatic punctuation to enable users to speak naturally, without having to vocalize awkward and explicit punctuation commands, such as “period”, “add comma” or “exclamation point”, while truecasing enhances user readability and improves the performance of downstream NLP tasks. This paper proposes a conditional joint modeling framework for prediction of punctuation and truecasing using pretrained masked language models such as BERT, BioBERT and RoBERTa. We also present techniques for domain and task specific adaptation by fine-tuning masked language models with medical domain data. Finally, we improve the robustness of the model against common errors made in ASR by performing data augmentation. Experiments performed on dictation and conversational style corpora show that our proposed model achieves 5% absolute improvement on ground truth text and 10% improvement on ASR outputs over baseline models under F1 metric.


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In Other News: a Bi-style Text-to-speech Model for Synthesizing Newscaster Voice with Limited Data
Nishant Prateek | Mateusz Łajszczak | Roberto Barra-Chicote | Thomas Drugman | Jaime Lorenzo-Trueba | Thomas Merritt | Srikanth Ronanki | Trevor Wood
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies, Volume 2 (Industry Papers)

Neural text-to-speech synthesis (NTTS) models have shown significant progress in generating high-quality speech, however they require a large quantity of training data. This makes creating models for multiple styles expensive and time-consuming. In this paper different styles of speech are analysed based on prosodic variations, from this a model is proposed to synthesise speech in the style of a newscaster, with just a few hours of supplementary data. We pose the problem of synthesising in a target style using limited data as that of creating a bi-style model that can synthesise both neutral-style and newscaster-style speech via a one-hot vector which factorises the two styles. We also propose conditioning the model on contextual word embeddings, and extensively evaluate it against neutral NTTS, and neutral concatenative-based synthesis. This model closes the gap in perceived style-appropriateness between natural recordings for newscaster-style of speech, and neutral speech synthesis by approximately two-thirds.