Using language technology to assist the hard of hearing

The Nordic association of the hard of hearing (Nordiska Hörselskadades Samarbetskommitté, NHS) had a seminar at Hotel Selfoss last week. On Friday, Anna gave a talk there on how language technology might assist people hard of hearing to communicate and access information in a predominately hearing world. Automatic transcription of live communication and automatic caption of video material is already working for English and some other languages, and the Nordic participants of the seminar were eager to see this technology advance in their languages. At LVL, we are working on open ASR systems, making the development of technology like this possible for Icelandic.

The rest of the slides can be viewed by selecting the first slide below.

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Meeting with Mycroft

This week LVL sat down with Mycroft to discuss the possibilities of collaborating and working together to bring more speech technology to Iceland.  We discussed using Mozilla’s Common Voice to bring about another open source Icelandic speech dataset, and possibly an Icelandic voice assistant. The Mozilla project requires just 5,000 phrases which anyone can contribute, even you!

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LVL meets with Joshua Montgomerey of Mycroft

Panelist at “The Future of the Icelandic Language”

This Thursday, Anna will be representing the LVL group at The Future of the Icelandic Language in New York. It is being hosted as part of the “100 ára fullveldi Íslands” (trans. 100 years of of sovereignty in Iceland) celebration. Anna will be a panelist during the “The Icelandic Language and Technology” discussion along with international leading figures in the language and technology community.

Photo from the event:

NewYork

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First conference of the year is LREC!

This year, Jón will be representing our LVL group at the LREC 2018 conference happening this week in gorgeous Miyazaki, Japan. Jón will be presenting the paper,  “Open ASR for Icelandic: Resources and a Baseline System.” As co-author, Anna, says, “The paper describes the language resources used in the project Open ASR for Icelandic: the Málrómur speech corpus, the Leipzig Corpora Collection and the Icelandic pronunciation dictionary, and their processing for the utilization in the training of the ASR system. Furthermore, we experiment with different content of the acoustic training corpus to examine the impact of carefully selected speech data on the WER of the ASR system.” To learn more, read their paper and visit ASR_Resources_LREC2018_A0_portrait_final to get the details that they weren’t able to fit in.

We wish Jón a good conference and lots of fun on a different island!

For those who weren’t able to view the poster in person, we have a PDF of it below:

LRECpaper

Open Icelandic ASR unveiled at the Language Technology Seminar

On the 27th of April, we will be presenting the web portal for our project, a Free and Open Speech Recognition for Icelandic. The ASR will be the opening topic of the Language Technology Seminar, followed by other language technology talks and presentations. The seminar takes place at Reykjavík University, room M101 on Friday, April 27th, 2018 12:00PM.

More detailed information can be found at the following link: Announcing the New Open ASR for Icelandic and the Facebook event.

The automatic speech recognizer was previously demoed at UTMessan and University Day but after the seminar it will be publicly available at https://tal.ru.is/ for newer devices. To get a better idea of how our Open Icelandic ASR works, watch the following Icelandic news segment:

But if you don’t know any Icelandic and just want to use the API, then follow us for updates.

Funding Approved for Icelandic Youth Language Study

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The Eyra app

We are delighted to be participating in the project “Icelandic Youth Language: An Empirical Study of Communicative Resources” headed by dr. Helga Hilmisdóttir at The Árni Magnússon Institute for Icelandic Studies.  Using Eyra, Teenage group conversations will be recorded and annotated during the project and used to study linguistic features such as communication patterns, vocabulary, imagery, inflection, sentence order and voice.  The data will also be used to improve language technology for teenage voices.

 

 

Does the future understand Icelandic? – UTMessan Talk

On Friday, LVL will be at the UTMessan conference being held here in Reykjavik. UTMessan is a IT conference presented in both Icelandic and English. The talk, “Skilur framtíðin íslensku? (Does the future understand Icelandic?)” will be presented by Anna Björk. This will be our first time presenting at UTMessan so we are very excited.

If you are interested in attending, below are the talk details:

Abstract: In recent years language technology and artificial intelligence have made a giant leap forward. The revolution becomes clear in the development of intelligent assistants like Siri, Alexa, Google Assistant and Cortana, that in ever more households are becoming a part of the family. In the discussion about language technology for Icelandic, the most prominent subject has been how and when we are going to speak Icelandic with those assistants.

But what about language technology for the purpose of increasing efficiency and service quality of companies and institutions? This talk discusses language technology in this context and what is needed so that Icelandic companies can join the rapid development in the field.

Watch the talkhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IaOYG23R7_k
Date: 2 February, 2018
Location: Tækjatal – Chatbot Talks, Silfurberg B, Harpa, Reykjavík, Iceland
Language: Icelandic (perfect opportunity to brush up on your Icelandic)
Time: 11:55am – 12:25pm
Speaker:

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More details at UTMessan

We hope to see you there!

Interspeech 2017 Conference Summary

Yu-Ren gave a really good talk about measuring voice severity.

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Then, on Wednesday Anna, Inga, Matthías, and Jón answered questions about their posters to conference attendees.

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During the conference, welcome reception, and the banquet we reconnected with many old colleagues and met many new  in the speech processing and speech recognition world. For anyone who didn’t get a chance to attend Yu-Ren’s talk or to see the posters by Jón and Inga, we have links at the bottom of the post.

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Anna’s data is also available on Malfong now.

Inga’s Icelandic Parliament ASR Corpus

Yu-Ren’s slides

Jón’s Eyra Speech Corpora Poster

We hope to see you next year!

Learning from Europe

Two of the LVL team, Jón and Anna, are working on a strategic plan for Icelandic language technology, together with Steinþór Steingrímsson from The Árni Magnússon Institute of Icelandic Studies. The three of them have been – and will be – meeting LT specialists in Europe to learn about successful technologies and to collect material for the strategic planning. February 15th to 17th they went from seeing Etienne Roth from EPC in Mannheim, Germany, on spell and grammar checking, to Luxembourg to speak with the machine translation team of MT@EC and over to London to meet speech synthesis specialists at Google. A lot of nice, clever and helpful people they met there! While digesting the mass-input of these three days, the preparations for the next trips are already ongoing: Estonia on the 1st of March and Gothenburg, Sweden, later the same month.

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Markus Foti, Jón Guðnason, Steinþór Steingrímsson, Michael Jellinghaus and Andreas Eisele at EC in Luxembourg

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Jón at the Goodenough House, where he lived while studying in London “some” years ago

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View from the 11th floor, Jón and Steinþór together with Oddur Kjartansson at Google, London