Collaborating Authors

Lattice-based Improvements for Voice Triggering Using Graph Neural Networks Machine Learning

Voice-triggered smart assistants often rely on detection of a trigger-phrase before they start listening for the user request. Mitigation of false triggers is an important aspect of building a privacy-centric non-intrusive smart assistant. In this paper, we address the task of false trigger mitigation (FTM) using a novel approach based on analyzing automatic speech recognition (ASR) lattices using graph neural networks (GNN). The proposed approach uses the fact that decoding lattice of a falsely triggered audio exhibits uncertainties in terms of many alternative paths and unexpected words on the lattice arcs as compared to the lattice of a correctly triggered audio. A pure trigger-phrase detector model doesn't fully utilize the intent of the user speech whereas by using the complete decoding lattice of user audio, we can effectively mitigate speech not intended for the smart assistant. We deploy two variants of GNNs in this paper based on 1) graph convolution layers and 2) self-attention mechanism respectively. Our experiments demonstrate that GNNs are highly accurate in FTM task by mitigating ~87% of false triggers at 99% true positive rate (TPR). Furthermore, the proposed models are fast to train and efficient in parameter requirements.

On Modeling ASR Word Confidence Machine Learning

We present a new method for computing ASR word confidences that effectively mitigates ASR errors for diverse downstream applications, improves the word error rate of the 1-best result, and allows better comparison of scores across different models. We propose 1) a new method for modeling word confidence using a Heterogeneous Word Confusion Network (HWCN) that addresses some key flaws in conventional Word Confusion Networks, and 2) a new score calibration method for facilitating direct comparison of scores from different models. Using a bidirectional lattice recurrent neural network to compute the confidence scores of each word in the HWCN, we show that the word sequence with the best overall confidence is more accurate than the default 1-best result of the recognizer, and that the calibration method greatly improves the reliability of recognizer combination.

Comparison of Lattice-Free and Lattice-Based Sequence Discriminative Training Criteria for LVCSR Machine Learning

Sequence discriminative training criteria have long been a standard tool in automatic speech recognition for improving the performance of acoustic models over their maximum likelihood / cross entropy trained counterparts. While previously a lattice approximation of the search space has been necessary to reduce computational complexity, recently proposed methods use other approximations to dispense of the need for the computationally expensive step of separate lattice creation. In this work we present a memory efficient implementation of the forward-backward computation that allows us to use uni-gram word-level language models in the denominator calculation while still doing a full summation on GPU. This allows for a direct comparison of lattice-based and lattice-free sequence discriminative training criteria such as MMI and sMBR, both using the same language model during training. We compared performance, speed of convergence, and stability on large vocabulary continuous speech recognition tasks like Switchboard and Quaero. We found that silence modeling seriously impacts the performance in the lattice-free case and needs special treatment. In our experiments lattice-free MMI comes on par with its lattice-based counterpart. Lattice-based sMBR still outperforms all lattice-free training criteria.

Multi-task Learning for Voice Trigger Detection Machine Learning

We describe the design of a voice trigger detection system for smart speakers. In this study, we address two major challenges. The first is that the detectors are deployed in complex acoustic environments with external noise and loud playback by the device itself. Secondly, collecting training examples for a specific keyword or trigger phrase is challenging resulting in a scarcity of trigger phrase specific training data. We describe a two-stage cascaded architecture where a low-power detector is always running and listening for the trigger phrase. If a detection is made at this stage, the candidate audio segment is re-scored by larger, more complex models to verify that the segment contains the trigger phrase. In this study, we focus our attention on the architecture and design of these second-pass detectors. We start by training a general acoustic model that produces phonetic transcriptions given a large labelled training dataset. Next, we collect a much smaller dataset of examples that are challenging for the baseline system. We then use multi-task learning to train a model to simultaneously produce accurate phonetic transcriptions on the larger dataset \emph{and} discriminate between true and easily confusable examples using the smaller dataset. Our results demonstrate that the proposed model reduces errors by half compared to the baseline in a range of challenging test conditions \emph{without} requiring extra parameters.

LSTM Language Models for LVCSR in First-Pass Decoding and Lattice-Rescoring Machine Learning

LSTM based language models are an important part of modern LVCSR systems as they significantly improve performance over traditional backoff language models. Incorporating them efficiently into decoding has been notoriously difficult. In this paper we present an approach based on a combination of one-pass decoding and lattice rescoring. We perform decoding with the LSTM-LM in the first pass but recombine hypothesis that share the last two words, afterwards we rescore the resulting lattice. We run our systems on GPGPU equipped machines and are able to produce competitive results on the Hub5'00 and Librispeech evaluation corpora with a runtime better than real-time. In addition we shortly investigate the possibility to carry out the full sum over all state-sequences belonging to a given word-hypothesis during decoding without recombination.