Yurie Iribe


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Improving Speech Recognition for the Elderly: A New Corpus of Elderly Japanese Speech and Investigation of Acoustic Modeling for Speech Recognition
Meiko Fukuda | Hiromitsu Nishizaki | Yurie Iribe | Ryota Nishimura | Norihide Kitaoka
Proceedings of the 12th Language Resources and Evaluation Conference

In an aging society like Japan, a highly accurate speech recognition system is needed for use in electronic devices for the elderly, but this level of accuracy cannot be obtained using conventional speech recognition systems due to the unique features of the speech of elderly people. S-JNAS, a corpus of elderly Japanese speech, is widely used for acoustic modeling in Japan, but the average age of its speakers is 67.6 years old. Since average life expectancy in Japan is now 84.2 years, we are constructing a new speech corpus, which currently consists of the utterances of 221 speakers with an average age of 79.2, collected from four regions of Japan. In addition, we expand on our previous study (Fukuda, 2019) by further investigating the construction of acoustic models suitable for elderly speech. We create new acoustic models and train them using a combination of existing Japanese speech corpora (JNAS, S-JNAS, CSJ), with and without our ‘super-elderly’ speech data, and conduct speech recognition experiments. Our new acoustic models achieve word error rates (WER) as low as 13.38%, exceeding the results of our previous study in which we used the CSJ acoustic model adapted for elderly speech (17.4% WER).


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Speech Corpus Spoken by Young-old, Old-old and Oldest-old Japanese
Yurie Iribe | Norihide Kitaoka | Shuhei Segawa
Proceedings of the Tenth International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC'16)

We have constructed a new speech data corpus, using the utterances of 100 elderly Japanese people, to improve speech recognition accuracy of the speech of older people. Humanoid robots are being developed for use in elder care nursing homes. Interaction with such robots is expected to help maintain the cognitive abilities of nursing home residents, as well as providing them with companionship. In order for these robots to interact with elderly people through spoken dialogue, a high performance speech recognition system for speech of elderly people is needed. To develop such a system, we recorded speech uttered by 100 elderly Japanese, most of them are living in nursing homes, with an average age of 77.2. Previously, a seniors’ speech corpus named S-JNAS was developed, but the average age of the participants was 67.6 years, but the target age for nursing home care is around 75 years old, much higher than that of the S-JNAS samples. In this paper we compare our new corpus with an existing Japanese read speech corpus, JNAS, which consists of adult speech, and with the above mentioned S-JNAS, the senior version of JNAS.