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Speech and Language Processing Technical Committee Newsletter

August 2012

Welcome to the Summer 2012 edition of the IEEE Speech and Language Processing Technical Committee's Newsletter! In this issue we are focusing on news from recent conferences (such as an overview of speech and related papers at ACL 2012 by Asli Celikyilmaz) and workshops (such as the Odyssey 2012 by Nancy Chen and Haizhou Li and NAACL workshops by Svetlana Stoyanchev and Antonio Roque). This issue of the newsletter includes 11 articles from 11 guest contributors, and our own staff reporters and editors. Thank you all for your contributions!

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 submit job postings here, and reach us at speechnewseds [at] listserv (dot) ieee [dot] org.

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

Dilek Hakkani-Tür, Editor-in-chief
William Campbell, Editor
Patrick Nguyen, Editor
Martin Russell, Editor

From the SLTC and IEEE

From the IEEE SLTC chair

John Hansen

CFPs, Jobs, and Announcements

Calls for papers, proposals, and participation

Edited by William Campbell

Job advertisements

Edited by William Campbell

Philip Loizou, Pioneer in Signal Processing for Cochlear Implants and Speech Enhancement passes away at 46

John Hansen

Recent Initiatives for Improving Our Transactions

Li Deng

This article reports progress on three major initiatives over the past several months to improve the quality and impact of IEEE Transactions on Audio, Speech, and Language Processing

Call for Nominations: Speech and Language Technical Committee (SLTC) Member Positions

Larry Heck

The Member Election Subcommittee of the SLTC is seeking nominations for new SLTC Members. The nomination deadline is set as 15 September 2012.

Speech and Language Technologies for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Education

Abeer Alwan, Maxine Eskenazi, Diane Litman, Martin Russell, and Klaus Zechner

Over recent years education has become an established application area for speech and language technology. The first STiLL (Speech Technology in Language Learning) took place in Marholmen in Sweden in 1998, and 2006 saw the creation of the ISCA SIG (Special Interest Group) on Speech and Language Technology in Education (SLaTE). Currently, SLaTE is dominated by applications in literacy and language learning, and a study of the technical programs of the biennial SLaTE workshops, from 2007, 2009 and 2011, reveals just a small handful of contributions outside this area. However, it seems likely that there are compelling applications of speech and language technology in other areas of learning, and particularly in the STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). This article reviews some existing work on applications of speech and language technologies in STEM education, and previews the Special Session on “Speech Technologies for STEM” at Interspeech 2012 in Portland.

The Silent Speech Bandwidth Revolution in Mobile Telephony

Tim Fingscheidt

As mobile telephony today allows not only for the conservative low-latency circuit-switched design, but also for packet-switched IP multimedia subsystem (IMS) or voice over IP designs, mobile speech communication supporting wideband or even more speech bandwidth is possible in a variety of ways. We just need to ask for it - and experience what we have waited for the last 150 years, given, that our communication partner's phone and provider supports the same speech bandwidth.

An Overview of Speech and Related Papers @ ACL 2012

Asli Celikyilmaz

ACL 2012 covered a broad spectrum of disciplines working towards enabling intelligent systems to interact with humans using natural language, and towards enhancing human-human communication through services such as speech recognition, automatic translation, information retrieval, text summarization, and information extraction. This article summarizes the speech papers specifically advances on acoustic and language modeling as well as speech related papers on language acquisition, phonemes and words. The selected articles are noteworthy of their individual fields as the novel approaches presented in these papers outperform the baselines.

The Dialog State Tracking Challenge

Jason D. Williams

A new corpus-based research community challenge task to accurately estimate the goal of a user interacting with a spoken dialog system.

Dimitri Kanevsky Recognized by White House for Champion for Change Award

Tara N. Sainath

Dr. Dimitri Kanevsky, a researcher in the Speech and Language Algorithms group at IBM T.J. Watson Research Center, recently received the "Champion for Change" Award at the White House.

CL for Literature Workshop at NAACL/HLT 2012

Antonio Roque

The Computational Linguistics for Literature Workshop was recently held at NAACL-HLT 2012 in Montreal on June 8.

Overview of the Workshop on Future directions and needs in the Spoken Dialog Community: Tools and Data

Svetlana Stoyanchev

The Workshop on Future directions and needs in Spoken Dialog Community was collocated with NAACL2012. The goal of the workshop was to find common threads for binding dialog research community together and fostering growth of the field and the community. This article overviews the topics addressed at the workshop and presents discussion outcomes from the break-out sessions of the workshop.

Odyssey 2012: The Speaker and Language Recognition Workshop

Nancy Chen and Haizhou Li

Odyssey 2012 was held on 25-28 June in Singapore with the theme "Celebrating the Diversity of Speakers and Languages".

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