Researchers’ Night

This Friday is Researchers’ Night (Vísindavaka Rannís 2018). It is an all ages event on the 28th of September, 2018 from 16:30 – 22:00 at Laugardalshöllin, Reykjavik.

We will be there with Reykjavik University demonstrating the possibilities of speech with tech: evaluating collected speech data (Eyra), testing the accuracy of an automatic speech recognizer(ASR) – https://tal.ru.is, listening to a text-to-speech synthesizer, and telling your phone to read the news to you. Come try out the state-of-the-art in Icelandic speech technology, and tell us what you think!

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Researcher by Nick Youngson CC BY-SA 3.0 ImageCreator10

Student Projects Available

For the students of Reykjavik University or summer exchange students, we now have a list of student projects available. They are on  https://lvl.ru.is/student-projects/ or available from the Menu of the LVL website as Student Projects. They range from straight forward to difficult and are suitable for undergraduate final projects, Masters students, and PhD students. If you want to work on a one, please contact the people listed in the contact column, and they can give you more details to get you started. We look forward to hearing from you!

 

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

RANNIS Infrastructure grant 2018 – Awarded.

The complexity of neural network models increases every year and it takes a lot to keep up with computational hardware fast enough to train them efficiently.  Earlier this year, we applied to the RANNIS Infrastructure Fund for funding to expand our current HPC cluster.  We are happy that our proposal “Deep Learning Infrastructure for Speech and Language Technology” was selected to be funded. Only three grants were granted to Reykjavik University, and ours was one of them. This money will allow us to buy a fully equipped SuperMicro 4028GR-TR2 server with NVIDIA 1080Ti GPUs. We hope to sign the grant contract within several weeks and then order the machine. Next comes the process of assembling and integrating it into our current cluster. I can say that several group members can’t wait to have more power available to them.

 

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List of awarded grants – RANNIS

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