Trevor Wood


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What does the sea say to the shore? A BERT based DST style approach for speaker to dialogue attribution in novels
Carolina Cuesta-Lazaro | Animesh Prasad | Trevor Wood
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

We present a complete pipeline to extract characters in a novel and link them to their direct-speech utterances. Our model is divided into three independent components: extracting direct-speech, compiling a list of characters, and attributing those characters to their utterances. Although we find that existing systems can perform the first two tasks accurately, attributing characters to direct speech is a challenging problem due to the narrator’s lack of explicit character mentions, and the frequent use of nominal and pronominal coreference when such explicit mentions are made. We adapt the progress made on Dialogue State Tracking to tackle a new problem: attributing speakers to dialogues. This is the first application of deep learning to speaker attribution, and it shows that is possible to overcome the need for the hand-crafted features and rules used in the past. Our full pipeline improves the performance of state-of-the-art models by a relative 50% in F1-score.


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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.