Silent speech interfaces (SSIs), which recognize speech from articulatory information (i.e., without using audio information), have the potential to enable persons with laryngectomy or a neurological disease to produce synthesized speech with a natural sounding voice using their tongue and lips. Current approaches to SSIs have largely relied on speaker-dependent recognition models to minimize the negative effects of talker variation on recognition accuracy. Speaker-independent approaches are needed to reduce the large amount of training data required from each user; only limited articulatory samples are often available for persons with moderate to severe speech impairments, due to the logistic difficulty of data collection. This paper reported an across-speaker articulatory normalization approach based on Procrustes matching, a bidimensional regression technique for removing translational, scaling, and rotational effects of spatial data. A dataset of short functional sentences was collected from seven English talkers. A support vector machine was then trained to classify sentences based on normalized tongue and lip movements. Speaker-independent classification accuracy (tested using leave-one-subject-out cross validation) improved significantly, from 68.63% to 95.90%, following normalization. These results support the feasibility of a speaker-independent SSI using Procrustes matching as the basis for articulatory normalization across speakers.
Bibliographic reference. Wang, Jun / Samal, Ashok / Green, Jordan R. (2014): "Across-speaker articulatory normalization for speaker-independent silent speech recognition", In INTERSPEECH-2014, 1179-1183.