Conversational Speech Recognition Needs Data? Experiments with Austrian German

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Conversational speech represents one of the most complex of automatic speech recognition (ASR) tasks owing to the high inter-speaker variation in both pronunciation and conversational dynamics. Such complexity is particularly sensitive to low-resourced (LR) scenarios. Recent developments in self-supervision have allowed such scenarios to take advantage of large
amounts of otherwise unrelated data. In this study, we characterise an (LR) Austrian German conversational task. We begin with a non-pre-trained baseline and show that fine-tuning of a model pre-trained using self-supervision leads to improvements consistent with those in the literature; this extends to cases where a lexicon and language model are included. We also show
that the advantage of pre-training indeed arises from the larger database rather than the self-supervision. Further, by use of a leave-one-conversation out technique, we demonstrate that robustness problems remain with respect to inter-speaker and inter-conversation variation. This serves to guide where future research might best be focused in light of the current state-of-the-art.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2022

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