9th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association

Brisbane, Australia
September 22-26, 2008

Two Protocols Comparing Human and Machine Phonetic Recognition Performance in Conversational Speech

Wade Shen (1), Joseph Olive (2), Douglas Jones (1)

(1) MIT, USA; (2) DARPA, USA

This paper describes two experimental protocols for direct comparison of human and machine phonetic discrimination performance in continuous speech. These protocols attempt to isolate phonetic discrimination while eliminating for language and segmentation biases. Results of two human experiments are described including comparisons with automatic phonetic recognition baselines. Our experiments suggest that in conversational telephone speech, human performance on these tasks exceeds that of machines by 15%. Furthermore, in a related controlled language model experiment, human subjects were better able to correctly predict words in conversational speech by 45%.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Shen, Wade / Olive, Joseph / Jones, Douglas (2008): "Two protocols comparing human and machine phonetic recognition performance in conversational speech", In INTERSPEECH-2008, 1630-1633.