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From the SLTC Chair

Douglas O'Shaughnessy

SLTC Newsletter, November 2013

Welcome to the final SLTC Newsletter of 2013.

I am pleased to announce the results of this year's election to renew the membership of the SLTC. We elected 17 members to replace the 17 members whose term expires next month, as well as a new Vice Chair for the committee, Bhuvana Ramabhadran. She has been a member of the SLTC since 2010, and is a well-known member of our technical community, at IBM's TJ Watson Research Center since 1995. Currently, she manages a team of researchers in the Speech Recognition and Synthesis Research Group and co-ordinates research activities at IBM's labs in China, Tokyo, Prague and Haifa.

She was a technical area chair for ICASSP 2013 and for Interspeech 2012, and was one of the lead organizers and technical chair of IEEE ASRU 2011 in Hawaii. She co-organized the HLT-NAACL workshop on language modeling in 2011, special sessions on Sparse Representations in Interspeech 2010 and on Speech Transcription and Machine Translation at the 2007 ICASSP in Honolulu, and organized the HLT-NAACL 2004 Workshop on Interdisciplinary Approaches to Speech Indexing and Retrieval.

Of the 17 newly-elected members, seven are members continuing for a second term, while ten are new to the SLTC. By areas, we elected members in Speech Recognition (Jasha Droppo, Yifan Gong, Mark Hasegawa-Johnson, John Hershey, Frank Seide, Peder Olsen, George Saon, Hagen Soltau, Andreas Stolcke, Shinji Watanabe), in Speaker Recognition (Nick Evans), in Speech Synthesis (Tomoki Toda), in Natural Language Processing (Larry Heck), in Dialogue Systems (Svetlana Stoyanchev), In Speech Analysis (Gernot Kubin, Deep Sen), and in Speech Enhancement (Maurizio Omologo). The large number in ASR is due to the fact that we have so many papers in this area at ICASSP, and needed a significant increase to help with the reviews. We had been proportionally under-represented in this area.

At this time, we look forward to ASRU-2013 next month (the IEEE Automatic Speech Recognition and Understanding Workshop in the Czech Republic ( In addition to the excellent program of oral and poster papers, as per the accepted papers that were submitted to our committee and others for evaluation this past summer and a nice social program (recall the nice pre-Christmas locale of Merano, Italy for ARSU-2009), there are 14 invited speakers scheduled, grouped on three major topics: Neural Nets, Limited Resources, and ASR in applications:

  • Christoph Schreiner (U. of California - San Francisco) speaking on "Physiological Basis of Speech Processing: From Rodents to Humans,"
  • Nelson Morgan (International Computer Science Institute) on "Multilayer perceptrons for speech recognition: There and Back Again,"
  • Frank Seide (Microsoft Research Asia) on "Context-Dependent Deep Neural Networks for Large Vocabulary Speech Recognition: From Discovery to Practical Systems,"
  • Tanja Schultz (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology) on "Building Speech Recognition Systems with Low Resources,"
  • Lori Lamel (Centre national de la recherche scientifique-Laboratoire d'informatique pour la mécanique et les sciences de l'ingénieur) on "Unsupervised Acoustic Model Training with Limited Linguistic Resources,"
  • Mary Harper (Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity) on "The Babel Program and Low Resource Speech Technology,"
  • Herb Gish (Raytheon BBN Technologies) on "Zero to One Hour of Resources: A Self-organizing Unit Approach to Training Speech Recognizers,"
  • Jim Glass (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) on "Recent Progress in Unsupervised Speech Processing,"
  • Joseph Olive (DARPA) on "Utilization of ASRU technology - present and future,"
  • Marsal Gavalda (Expect Labs) on "Augmenting conversations with a speech understanding anticipatory search engine,"
  • Niko Brummer (Agnitio) on "Calibration of binary and multiclass probabilistic classifiers in automatic speaker and language recognition,"
  • Petr Schwarz (Phonexia & Brno University of Technology) on "Speech technologies for data mining, voice analytics and voice biometry,"
  • Brian Langner (ToyTalk) on "From the Lab to the Living Room: The Challenges of Building Speech-Driven Applications for Children,"
  • Pedro Moreno (Google) on "The growing role of speech in google products,"

I remind our speech and language community of the importance of doing reviews for the ICASSP-2014 paper submissions. If you have not signed up to be a reviewer and wish to help, please contact the committee. The reviews should start in a few weeks.

While still a bit distant, we are looking forward to the next IEEE Spoken Language Technology Workshop, to be held at the South Lake Tahoe Resort Hotel in South Lake Tahoe, California (Dec. 6-9, 2014).

In closing, I hope you will consider reviewing ICASSP submissions as well as participating at ASRU-2013, ICASSP-2014 and SLT-2014. We look forward to meeting friends and colleagues in beautiful Olomouc, Florence, and Tahoe.

Best wishes,

Douglas O'Shaughnessy

Douglas O'Shaughnessy is the Chair of the Speech and Language Processing Technical Committee.