Yu-An Chung


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Speech-to-Speech Translation for a Real-world Unwritten Language
Peng-Jen Chen | Kevin Tran | Yilin Yang | Jingfei Du | Justine Kao | Yu-An Chung | Paden Tomasello | Paul-Ambroise Duquenne | Holger Schwenk | Hongyu Gong | Hirofumi Inaguma | Sravya Popuri | Changhan Wang | Juan Pino | Wei-Ning Hsu | Ann Lee
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2023

We study speech-to-speech translation (S2ST) that translates speech from one language into another language and focuses on building systems to support languages without standard text writing systems. We use English-Taiwanese Hokkien as a case study, and present an end-to-end solution from training data collection, modeling choices to benchmark dataset release. First, we present efforts on creating human annotated data, automatically mining data from large unlabeled speech datasets, and adopting pseudo-labeling to produce weakly supervised data. On the modeling, we take advantage of recent advances in applying self-supervised discrete representations as target for prediction in S2ST and show the effectiveness of leveraging additional text supervision from Mandarin, a language similar to Hokkien, in model training. Finally, we release an S2ST benchmark set to facilitate future research in this field.

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UnitY: Two-pass Direct Speech-to-speech Translation with Discrete Units
Hirofumi Inaguma | Sravya Popuri | Ilia Kulikov | Peng-Jen Chen | Changhan Wang | Yu-An Chung | Yun Tang | Ann Lee | Shinji Watanabe | Juan Pino
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Direct speech-to-speech translation (S2ST), in which all components can be optimized jointly, is advantageous over cascaded approaches to achieve fast inference with a simplified pipeline. We present a novel two-pass direct S2ST architecture, UnitY, which first generates textual representations and predicts discrete acoustic units subsequently. We enhance the model performance by subword prediction in the first-pass decoder, advanced two-pass decoder architecture design and search strategy, and better training regularization. To leverage large amounts of unlabeled text data, we pre-train the first-pass text decoder based on the self-supervised denoising auto-encoding task. Experimental evaluations on benchmark datasets at various data scales demonstrate that UnitY outperforms a single-pass speech-to-unit translation model by 2.5-4.2 ASR-BLEU with 2.83x decoding speed-up. We show that the proposed methods boost the performance even when predicting spectrogram in the second pass. However, predicting discrete units achieves 2.51x decoding speed-up compared to that case.


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SPLAT: Speech-Language Joint Pre-Training for Spoken Language Understanding
Yu-An Chung | Chenguang Zhu | Michael Zeng
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Spoken language understanding (SLU) requires a model to analyze input acoustic signal to understand its linguistic content and make predictions. To boost the models’ performance, various pre-training methods have been proposed to learn rich representations from large-scale unannotated speech and text. However, the inherent disparities between the two modalities necessitate a mutual analysis. In this paper, we propose a novel semi-supervised learning framework, SPLAT, to jointly pre-train the speech and language modules. Besides conducting a self-supervised masked language modeling task on the two individual modules using unpaired speech and text, SPLAT aligns representations from the two modules in a shared latent space using a small amount of paired speech and text. Thus, during fine-tuning, the speech module alone can produce representations carrying both acoustic information and contextual semantic knowledge of an input acoustic signal. Experimental results verify the effectiveness of our approach on various SLU tasks. For example, SPLAT improves the previous state-of-the-art performance on the Spoken SQuAD dataset by more than 10%.


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Improved Speech Representations with Multi-Target Autoregressive Predictive Coding
Yu-An Chung | James Glass
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Training objectives based on predictive coding have recently been shown to be very effective at learning meaningful representations from unlabeled speech. One example is Autoregressive Predictive Coding (Chung et al., 2019), which trains an autoregressive RNN to generate an unseen future frame given a context such as recent past frames. The basic hypothesis of these approaches is that hidden states that can accurately predict future frames are a useful representation for many downstream tasks. In this paper we extend this hypothesis and aim to enrich the information encoded in the hidden states by training the model to make more accurate future predictions. We propose an auxiliary objective that serves as a regularization to improve generalization of the future frame prediction task. Experimental results on phonetic classification, speech recognition, and speech translation not only support the hypothesis, but also demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach in learning representations that contain richer phonetic content.


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Supervised and Unsupervised Transfer Learning for Question Answering
Yu-An Chung | Hung-Yi Lee | James Glass
Proceedings of the 2018 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies, Volume 1 (Long Papers)

Although transfer learning has been shown to be successful for tasks like object and speech recognition, its applicability to question answering (QA) has yet to be well-studied. In this paper, we conduct extensive experiments to investigate the transferability of knowledge learned from a source QA dataset to a target dataset using two QA models. The performance of both models on a TOEFL listening comprehension test (Tseng et al., 2016) and MCTest (Richardson et al., 2013) is significantly improved via a simple transfer learning technique from MovieQA (Tapaswi et al., 2016). In particular, one of the models achieves the state-of-the-art on all target datasets; for the TOEFL listening comprehension test, it outperforms the previous best model by 7%. Finally, we show that transfer learning is helpful even in unsupervised scenarios when correct answers for target QA dataset examples are not available.