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Expert Group Meeting – Natural Language Processing: Speech Processing

This Expert Meeting will take place at the ZHAW premises in Lagerstrasse 45, 8004 Zurich in room ZL O3.01 on the third floor (online participation is also possible for those who prefer this option) on Wednesday, May 10 from 17:30-19:00. After the meeting, there will be an apéro so that you can carry on your discussions and get to know each other.

We have the following two talks confirmed:

End-to-end ASR for Swiss German at Microsoft: A Transducer Approach
Oscar Koller, Applied Scientist at Microsoft

Automatic speech recognition (ASR) for Swiss German is a challenging task due to the lack of a standardized writing system and the high regional variability of the dialects. In this talk, we present our work on developing end-to-end ASR models for Swiss German at Microsoft using transducer architectures. We show that transducers outperform hybrid models by over 20% in word error rate on a multi-dialectal corpus of Swiss German speech. We also compare our models to Whisper, a state-of-the-art sequence-to-sequence model for low-resource ASR, and find that transducer models achieve comparable results with much smaller model size and training time. Finally, we discuss how end-to-end models produce transliterations of Swiss German words instead of standard German translations affecting the readability and usability of the output and propose solutions to this problem.

Revolutionizing Natural Interaction with Swiss German: A Glimpse into the Future of Conversational AI
Claudio Paonessa and Yanick Schraner, Researchers at FHNW

Get ready for a glimpse into the future of natural interaction with computer systems in Swiss German! We leveraged the latest advancements in speech-to-text and text-to-speech technology to create an engaging and interactive experience that showcases the results of our cutting-edge research.

Exploring the Acceptance of Intelligent Voice Assistants in Home Care Applications: Opportunities and Obstacles [10 mins presentation, 10 mins discussion]
Edith Birrer, Researcher at iHomeLab – HSLU (Hochschule Luzern)

In the scope of co-creation sessions, care workers provided insights on applications and on concerns about Intelligent Voice Assistants (IVA) in the home of their clients or patients. The sessions focused on the potential to support the care documentation process by IVA. Participants’ expectations and worries spanned from the ability to handle dialects, to confidentiality issues, to integration in existing care documentation systems. However, there is a general openness toward the idea to employ IVA as means to improve the quality of care. The challenge foreseen for using IVA is to become as time efficient as care documentation systems in place. Alternatively, as suggested by participants, IVA could complement existing processes or even create new ones in the care context.

If you want to join, please fill in the following registration form by April 27:
Please note that the registration form includes information for the SwissNLP General Assembly which is co-located.

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May 10 2023


17:30 - 19:00


Lagerstrasse 45, 8004 Zürich, Room ZL 03.08
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