Exploring data augmentation in bias mitigation against non-native-accented speech

Yuanyuan Zhang, Aaricia Herygers, Tanvina Patel, Zhengjun Yue, Odette Scharenborg
Electrical Engineering and Systems Science, Audio and Speech Processing, Audio and Speech Processing (eess.AS)
2023-12-24 00:00:00
Automatic speech recognition (ASR) should serve every speaker, not only the majority ``standard'' speakers of a language. In order to build inclusive ASR, mitigating the bias against speaker groups who speak in a ``non-standard'' or ``diverse'' way is crucial. We aim to mitigate the bias against non-native-accented Flemish in a Flemish ASR system. Since this is a low-resource problem, we investigate the optimal type of data augmentation, i.e., speed/pitch perturbation, cross-lingual voice conversion-based methods, and SpecAugment, applied to both native Flemish and non-native-accented Flemish, for bias mitigation. The results showed that specific types of data augmentation applied to both native and non-native-accented speech improve non-native-accented ASR while applying data augmentation to the non-native-accented speech is more conducive to bias reduction. Combining both gave the largest bias reduction for human-machine interaction (HMI) as well as read-type speech.
PDF: Exploring data augmentation in bias mitigation against non-native-accented speech.pdf
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