[Univ of Cambridge]alt[Dept of Engineering]

MIL Speech Seminars 2007-2008

The MIL Speech Seminars occur roughly every two weeks during full term and occasionally during vacations. The purpose of the seminars is to enable researchers in various fields to present recent work that has potential benefits for speech technology.

The MIL Speech Seminar series schedule for Michaelmas Term was:

22nd October 2007 Francois Mairesse (University of Sheffield) Generating Language with Personality Over the last fifty years, the "Big Five" model of personality traits has become a standard in psychology, and research has systematically documented correlations between a wide range of linguistic variables and the Big Five traits. A distinct line of research has explored methods for automatically generating language that varies along personality dimensions. We present PERSONAGE (PERSONAlity GEnerator), the first highly parametrisable language generator for all Big Five personality traits. We evaluate two personality generation methods: (1) direct generation with particular parameter settings suggested by the psychology literature; and (2) overgeneration and selection using statistical models trained from judge's ratings. Results show that both methods reliably generate utterances that vary along the extraversion dimension, according to human judges. We also report results for other personality dimensions, with the aim to produce language expressing any combination of personality traits.
12th November 2007 Sacha Krstulovic (Toshiba) HMM synthesis developments at Toshiba Recently, HMM-based speech synthesis has been drawing lots of attention, not only due to its competitive and stable quality, but also and mainly due to its flexibility. As a matter of fact, it is based on one of the best known and most complete parametric models of speech, which, once trained, allows to perform some alterations of the synthetic voice independently of the original speech database. After a presentation of the Toshiba company, its speech research and more specifically its research interests in Text-To-Speech synthesis, this talk will present an overview of the use of HMMs for speech synthesis, while underlining some contrasts with their use in Automatic Speech Recognition. Some audio examples of HMM synthesized sentences will be played. The talk will conclude with some current and future research directions undertaken by Toshiba in this field.

If you are interested in giving a seminar presentation or if you would like more information about the seminar series please contact Marcus Tomalin