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Speech and Language Processing Technical Committee Newsletter

July 2010

Welcome to the Summer 2010 edition of the IEEE Speech and Language Processing Technical Committee's Newsletter.

In this issue we are pleased to provide another installment of brief articles representing a diversity of views and backgrounds. This issue includes articles from 6 guest contributors, and our own 8 staff reporters and editors.

We believe the newsletter is an ideal forum for updates, reports, announcements and editorials which don't fit well with traditional journals. We welcome your contributions, as well as calls for papers, job announcements, comments and suggestions. You can reach us at speechnewseds [at] listserv (dot) ieee [dot] org.

Finally, to subscribe the Newsletter, send an email with the command "subscribe speechnewsdist" in the message body to listserv [at] listserv (dot) ieee [dot] org.

Jason Williams, Editor-in-chief
Pino Di Fabbrizio, Editor
Martin Russell, Editor
Chuck Wooters, Editor

From the SLTC and IEEE

From the IEEE SLTC chair

Steve Young

SLT 2010, ASRU 2011, and IEEE awards.

IEEE Signal Processing Society Newsletter

The IEEE Signal Processing Society, our parent organization, also produces a monthly newsletter, "Inside Signal Processing".

CFPs, Jobs, and book announcements

Calls for papers, proposals, and participation

Edited by Chuck Wooters

Job advertisements

Edited by Chuck Wooters

Book announcements

Edited by Jason Williams

Special section on NAACL-HLT 2010

Overview of NAACL HLT 2010

Mary Harper

This article provides an overview and useful links to the NAACL HLT 2010 conference, which included papers spanning computational linguistics, information retrieval, and speech technology. Due to its three-area focus and emphasis on statistical modeling and machine learning, the NAACL HLT conference will be of interest to many SLT readers, who should consider submitting papers to future conferences.

Bringing Semantics into Search: An Overview of the NAACL-HLT-2010 Workshop on Semantic Search

Donghui Feng

The Semantic Search Workshop (SemanticSearch 2010) was recently held in Los Angeles, CA on June 5th, in conjunction with Human Language Technologies: The 11th Annual Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics (NAACL-HLT-2010). This workshop features a keynote speech by Dr. Ronald Kaplan from the Powerset division of Microsoft Bing, a panel discussion, and six oral presentations. In this article we give an overview of the workshop.

Creating Speech and Text Language Data with Amazon’s Mechanical Turk: a Report on the NAACL-HLT 2010 Workshop.

Sveva Besana and Matthew Marge

This article reports on a workshop held at NAACL-HLT 2010 in Los Angeles, CA, June 1-6 2010. The workshop was sponsored by Amazon Mechanical Turk and CrowdFlower with two goals in mind: elicit paper submissions through a shared task challenge and create a forum where researchers could share experiments using data annotated via crowdsourcing. A few experiments from the workshop are described to show the reader use cases for this emerging data collection methodology. Leading the efforts to make this workshop possible were Chris Callison-Burch and Mark Dredze, researchers at Johns Hopkins University.

Interview: MTurk NAACL Workshop Organizers Talk Crowdsourcing, Speech, and the Future of Unsupervised Learning

Matthew Marge

Last month, a NAACL workshop brought together researchers in speech and NLP that use crowdsourcing services like Amazon's Mechanical Turk and Crowdflower. We had a chance to interview the organizers about the workshop, the future of speech-related work on Mechanical Turk, and the prospects of unsupervised learning given the rise of crowdsourced data.


Text-to-Speech Synthesis To Improve TV Accessibility

Kate Knill

In the UK 90% of blind and partially sighted people "watch" TV every two days. The current interfaces available for digital TVs and set-top boxes limit their user experience as 60% cannot use on-screen menu navigation. This article discusses ongoing efforts in the digital television industry to improve accessibility by using text-to-speech synthesis to voice the digital TV information.

The 2010 NIST Speaker Recognition Evaluation

Tina Kohler

The U.S. National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) sponsored a speaker recognition evaluation in Spring 2010. This article describes the evaluation tasks, data, participant algorithms, and results.

Digital Humanities and Language Technology

Antonio Roque

The rise of computer technology has influenced research in all disciplines, including the humanities. Humanities research that uses language technology includes classical lexicography with computational linguistics and authorship attribution using machine learning methods.

Speech Technologies for Children

Martin Russell

Children are the potential beneficiaries of some of the most compelling applications of speech and language technology. This article gives a brief overview of some of the challenges posed by automatic recognition of children's speech and indicates relevant activities in the speech and language technology research community.

Conditional Random Fields for Speech Recognition

Tara N. Sainath

The use of Conditional Random Fields (CRFs) in speech recognition has gained significant popularity over the past few years. In this article, we highlight some of the main research efforts utilizing CRFs.

Overview of the 10th International Conference on Intelligent Tutoring Systems ITS2010

Svetlana Stoyanchev

One-on-one tutoring allows students to receive personalized attention and is found more effective than classroom learning. In a classroom, where one teacher presents material to 20 or 30 students, each student receives less personalized attention. Providing a personal tutor for each student is expensive and infeasible. Can automatic tutoring systems provide instructions, support, and feedback to a student and play the role of a one-on-one tutor? This and other educational system-related questions were addressed at the tenth conference on Intelligent Tutoring Systems (ITS) that took place in June, 2010 in Pittsburgh, USA.

Phonetic Arts

Matt Stuttle

Phonetic Arts supplies speech synthesis technologies to the games industry. This article provides an overview of the benefits and challenges of applying speech synthesis to games, and gives an overview of Phonetic Arts' approach.

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