Whistle-blowing ASRs: Evaluating the Need for More Inclusive Speech Recognition Systems

Meredith Moore, Hemanth Venkateswara, Sethuraman Panchanathan


Speech is a complex process that can break in many different ways and lead to a variety of voice disorders. Dysarthria is a voice disorder where individuals are unable to control one or more of the aspects of speech—the articulation, breathing, voicing, or prosody—leading to less intelligible speech. In this paper, we evaluate the accuracy of state-of-the-art automatic speech recognition systems (ASRs) on two dysarthric speech datasets and compare the results to ASR performance on control speech. The limits of ASR performance using different voices have not been explored since the field has shifted from generative models of speech recognition to deep neural network architectures. To test how far the field has come in recognizing disordered speech, we test two different ASR systems: (1) Carnegie Mellon University’s Sphinx Open Source Recognition and (2) Google®Speech Recognition. While (1) uses generative models of speech recognition, (2) uses deep neural networks. As expected, while (2) achieved lower word error rates (WER) on dysarthric speech than (1), control speech had a WER 59% lower than dysarthric speech. Future studies should be focused not only on making ASRs robust to environmental noise, but also more robust to different voices.


 DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2018-2391

Cite as: Moore, M., Venkateswara, H., Panchanathan, S. (2018) Whistle-blowing ASRs: Evaluating the Need for More Inclusive Speech Recognition Systems. Proc. Interspeech 2018, 466-470, DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2018-2391.


@inproceedings{Moore2018,
  author={Meredith Moore and Hemanth Venkateswara and Sethuraman Panchanathan},
  title={Whistle-blowing ASRs: Evaluating the Need for More Inclusive Speech Recognition Systems},
  year=2018,
  booktitle={Proc. Interspeech 2018},
  pages={466--470},
  doi={10.21437/Interspeech.2018-2391},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/Interspeech.2018-2391}
}