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Transfer Learning from Speaker Verification to Multispeaker Text-To-Speech Synthesis

Neural Information Processing Systems

We describe a neural network-based system for text-to-speech (TTS) synthesis that is able to generate speech audio in the voice of many different speakers, including those unseen during training. Our system consists of three independently trained components: (1) a speaker encoder network, trained on a speaker verification task using an independent dataset of noisy speech from thousands of speakers without transcripts, to generate a fixed-dimensional embedding vector from seconds of reference speech from a target speaker; (2) a sequence-to-sequence synthesis network based on Tacotron 2, which generates a mel spectrogram from text, conditioned on the speaker embedding; (3) an auto-regressive WaveNet-based vocoder that converts the mel spectrogram into a sequence of time domain waveform samples. We demonstrate that the proposed model is able to transfer the knowledge of speaker variability learned by the discriminatively-trained speaker encoder to the new task, and is able to synthesize natural speech from speakers that were not seen during training. We quantify the importance of training the speaker encoder on a large and diverse speaker set in order to obtain the best generalization performance. Finally, we show that randomly sampled speaker embeddings can be used to synthesize speech in the voice of novel speakers dissimilar from those used in training, indicating that the model has learned a high quality speaker representation.


Transfer Learning from Speaker Verification to Multispeaker Text-To-Speech Synthesis

Neural Information Processing Systems

We describe a neural network-based system for text-to-speech (TTS) synthesis that is able to generate speech audio in the voice of many different speakers, including those unseen during training. Our system consists of three independently trained components: (1) a speaker encoder network, trained on a speaker verification task using an independent dataset of noisy speech from thousands of speakers without transcripts, to generate a fixed-dimensional embedding vector from seconds of reference speech from a target speaker; (2) a sequence-to-sequence synthesis network based on Tacotron 2, which generates a mel spectrogram from text, conditioned on the speaker embedding; (3) an auto-regressive WaveNet-based vocoder that converts the mel spectrogram into a sequence of time domain waveform samples. We demonstrate that the proposed model is able to transfer the knowledge of speaker variability learned by the discriminatively-trained speaker encoder to the new task, and is able to synthesize natural speech from speakers that were not seen during training. We quantify the importance of training the speaker encoder on a large and diverse speaker set in order to obtain the best generalization performance. Finally, we show that randomly sampled speaker embeddings can be used to synthesize speech in the voice of novel speakers dissimilar from those used in training, indicating that the model has learned a high quality speaker representation.


t-DCF: a Detection Cost Function for the Tandem Assessment of Spoofing Countermeasures and Automatic Speaker Verification

arXiv.org Machine Learning

The ASVspoof challenge series was born to spearhead research in anti-spoofing for automatic speaker verification (ASV). The two challenge editions in 2015 and 2017 involved the assessment of spoofing countermeasures (CMs) in isolation from ASV using an equal error rate (EER) metric. While a strategic approach to assessment at the time, it has certain shortcomings. First, the CM EER is not necessarily a reliable predictor of performance when ASV and CMs are combined. Second, the EER operating point is ill-suited to user authentication applications, e.g. telephone banking, characterised by a high target user prior but a low spoofing attack prior. We aim to migrate from CM- to ASV-centric assessment with the aid of a new tandem detection cost function (t-DCF) metric. It extends the conventional DCF used in ASV research to scenarios involving spoofing attacks. The t-DCF metric has 6 parameters: (i) false alarm and miss costs for both systems, and (ii) prior probabilities of target and spoof trials (with an implied third, nontarget prior). The study is intended to serve as a self-contained, tutorial-like presentation. We analyse with the t-DCF a selection of top-performing CM submissions to the 2015 and 2017 editions of ASVspoof, with a focus on the spoofing attack prior. Whereas there is little to choose between countermeasure systems for lower priors, system rankings derived with the EER and t-DCF show differences for higher priors. We observe some ranking changes. Findings support the adoption of the DCF-based metric into the roadmap for future ASVspoof challenges, and possibly for other biometric anti-spoofing evaluations.


Are Microsoft And VocalZoom The Peanut Butter And Chocolate Of Voice Recognition?

#artificialintelligence

Moore's law has driven silicon chip circuitry to the point where we are surrounded by devices equipped with microprocessors. The devices are frequently wonderful; communicating with them – not so much. Pressing buttons on smart devices or keyboards is often clumsy and never the method of choice when effective voice communication is possible. The keyword in the previous sentence is "effective". Technology has advanced to the point where we are in the early stages of being able to communicate with our devices using voice recognition.


Towards robust audio spoofing detection: a detailed comparison of traditional and learned features

arXiv.org Machine Learning

Automatic speaker verification, like every other biometric system, is vulnerable to spoofing attacks. Using only a few minutes of recorded voice of a genuine client of a speaker verification system, attackers can develop a variety of spoofing attacks that might trick such systems. Detecting these attacks using the audio cues present in the recordings is an important challenge. Most existing spoofing detection systems depend on knowing the used spoofing technique. With this research, we aim at overcoming this limitation, by examining robust audio features, both traditional and those learned through an autoencoder, that are generalizable over different types of replay spoofing. Furthermore, we provide a detailed account of all the steps necessary in setting up state-of-the-art audio feature detection, pre-, and postprocessing, such that the (non-audio expert) machine learning researcher can implement such systems. Finally, we evaluate the performance of our robust replay speaker detection system with a wide variety and different combinations of both extracted and machine learned audio features on the `out in the wild' ASVspoof 2017 dataset. This dataset contains a variety of new spoofing configurations. Since our focus is on examining which features will ensure robustness, we base our system on a traditional Gaussian Mixture Model-Universal Background Model. We then systematically investigate the relative contribution of each feature set. The fused models, based on both the known audio features and the machine learned features respectively, have a comparable performance with an Equal Error Rate (EER) of 12. The final best performing model, which obtains an EER of 10.8, is a hybrid model that contains both known and machine learned features, thus revealing the importance of incorporating both types of features when developing a robust spoofing prediction model.