back to article Someone's at last helping AI models understand those with speech disabilities

Boffins at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) in the US are working with the usual internet super-corps to, ideally, improve AI voice recognition for people with disabilities. Speech recognition software often struggles to process speech for people with heavy accents, and performs even worse for people with …

  1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

    Welsh, on the other hand, there's no tech that can help with that

    I predict a therfysget.

    1. ThatOne Silver badge

      Re: Welsh, on the other hand, there's no tech that can help with that

      Bless you

    2. revenant

      Re: Welsh, on the other hand, there's no tech that can help with that

      You won't get a riot from me. After more decades than I care to remember of reading and hearing the same 'clever' joke from people who can't be arsed to actually listen to a language other than English, I can only muster up a feeling of disappointment.

      Disappointment, particularly, with El Reg's editorial staff for allowing gratuitous insults aimed at a specific language and people.

      Might I suggest retraining for their sub-head writers?

      1. The Indomitable Gall

        Re: Welsh, on the other hand, there's no tech that can help with that

        Very disappointed myself.

        I'd assumed good faith and thought there was going to be something in the article referring to some reason why the outputs of the project were not going to transfer across languages, but... nothing.

        Just a lazy joke.

        I thought the Reg was better than that.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        There's no welsh translationof the word 'joke' either.

        Having lived in Wales for many a year and put up with the overt relentless dislike of the English from the Welsh, you're on thin ice there. Oh yeah, not just whilst living there, been insulted on holiday too. The Welsh have got away with this for being bitter 'patriots' for too long - for anyone else its just plain racism.

        The headline is a gentle micky take on the complexity of the Welsh language and pronounciation. And yes I speak a couple of romance languages and Welsh - mainly due to having it been force fed at school by nationalist militants who were too thick to differentiate between their hatred of the English and the language of the same name.

    3. Snowy Silver badge

      Re: Welsh, on the other hand, there's no tech that can help with that

      Rwy'n rhagweld terfysg

  2. Big_Boomer Silver badge

    Bawwy wiww be happy

    For those who don't get it,

  3. TRT Silver badge

    Useful, perhaps...

    for stroke victims. I mean, that's what assistive tech used to be sold to us as being capable of, right? Until they changed marketing tack to "Look how lazy you can now be with our technology! You don't even need to get out of bed to open the curtains and put the coffee pot on!"

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Useful, perhaps...

      A little surprised this has taken so long.

      Oliver Sacks decades back identified the study of damaged minds as giving insights into how the (healthy) mind actually works. This might form the basis of a useful hypothesis on speech, giving the potential for even better speech recognition and generation systems.

      1. Harry Kiri

        Re: Useful, perhaps...

        Collecting, curating and labelling speech for part of a speech recognition database is time-consuming, difficult and expensive. Depending on the speech disability one might also need to re-specify the dictionaries as well as the acoustic models may not match. It might also need differing feature generation as (for example) those with speech disabilities can struggle with plosives (so less emphasis on consonants).

        I agree totally that we should focus on enabling technology, the issue is its not always straightforward to map the current approaches to optimally support someone with a specific disability. Obtaining data, either a complete data set or using adaptation data is time consuming and hard work.

  4. thejoelr

    Project Relate

    Google started relate a year ago allowing participants to submit voice samples and get back a tailored voice assistant model.

    1. Gene Cash Silver badge

      Re: Project Relate

      Google started relate a year ago

      So it's already been abandoned, then?

      1. thejoelr

        Re: Project Relate

        The last I heard they were looking for participants. I think the initial closed nature really limited participation.

  5. Evil Scot

    Eee Lev En

  6. Snowy Silver badge

    The darker side of technology.

    The better their voice to text is the more information they can collect about you, Move over big brother you have nothing on big tech!!. Text is so much easier to store and mine than sounds.

  7. Snowy Silver badge

    Easy answer

    Just treat someone with a strong accent as a separate language.

    Warning the rest of the post contains sarcasm.

    If Welsh people are speaking English, take Welsh and English language add in some AI and your done. AI is so great it can solve anything you need to add more parameters until the problem is solved.

  8. This post has been deleted by its author

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