State of the art speech AI for 100+ languages – Google AI Weblog

Ultimate November, we introduced the 1,000 Languages Initiative, an formidable dedication to construct a system studying (ML) type that might beef up the arena’s 1000 most-spoken languages, bringing higher inclusion to billions of other folks all over the world. On the other hand, a few of these languages are spoken by way of fewer than twenty million other folks, so a core problem is how you can beef up languages for which there are slightly few audio system or restricted to be had knowledge.

Lately, we’re excited to proportion extra concerning the Common Speech Type (USM), a vital first step against supporting 1,000 languages. USM is a circle of relatives of cutting-edge speech fashions with 2B parameters skilled on 12 million hours of speech and 28 billion sentences of textual content, spanning 300+ languages. USM, which is to be used in YouTube (e.g., for closed captions), can carry out computerized speech popularity (ASR) now not solely on widely-spoken languages like English and Mandarin, but in addition on under-resourced languages like Amharic, Cebuano, Assamese, and Azerbaijani to call a couple of. In “Google USM: Scaling Automated Speech Popularity Past 100 Languages”, we show that using a big unlabeled multilingual dataset to pre-train the encoder of the type and fine-tuning on a smaller set of categorized knowledge allows us to acknowledge under-represented languages. Additionally, our type practicing procedure is efficacious at adapting to new languages and knowledge.

A pattern of the languages that USM helps.

Demanding situations in present ASR

To perform this formidable function, we wish to cope with two important demanding situations in ASR.

First, there’s a loss of scalability with standard supervised studying approaches. A elementary problem of scaling speech applied sciences to many languages is acquiring sufficient knowledge to coach high quality fashions. With standard approaches, audio knowledge must be both manually categorized, which is time-consuming and expensive, or accumulated from resources with pre-existing transcriptions, which can be more difficult to search out for languages that lack large illustration. Against this, self-supervised studying can leverage audio-only knowledge, which is to be had in a lot higher amounts throughout languages. This makes self-supervision a greater option to accomplish our function of scaling throughout masses of languages.

Every other problem is that fashions should toughen in a computationally environment friendly way whilst we increase the language protection and high quality. This calls for the training set of rules to be versatile, environment friendly, and generalizable. Extra particularly, such an set of rules must be capable to use huge quantities of information from plenty of resources, allow type updates with out requiring whole retraining, and generalize to new languages and use circumstances.

Our manner: Self-supervised studying with fine-tuning

USM makes use of the usual encoder-decoder structure, the place the decoder may also be CTC, RNN-T, or LAS. For the encoder, USM makes use of the Conformer, or convolution-augmented transformer. The important thing element of the Conformer is the Conformer block, which is composed of consideration, feed-forward, and convolutional modules. It takes as enter the log-mel spectrogram of the speech sign and plays a convolutional sub-sampling, and then a chain of Conformer blocks and a projection layer are carried out to procure the overall embeddings.

Our practicing pipeline begins with step one of self-supervised studying on speech audio overlaying masses of languages. In the second one non-compulsory step, the type’s high quality and language protection may also be stepped forward via an extra pre-training step with textual content knowledge. The verdict to include the second one step relies on whether or not textual content knowledge is to be had. USM plays absolute best with this 2nd non-compulsory step. The ultimate step of the educational pipeline is to fine-tune on downstream duties (e.g., ASR or computerized speech translation) with a small quantity of supervised knowledge.

For step one, we use BEST-RQ, which has already demonstrated cutting-edge effects on multilingual duties and has confirmed to be environment friendly when the usage of very huge quantities of unsupervised audio knowledge.

In the second one (non-compulsory) step, we used multi-objective supervised pre-training to include wisdom from further textual content knowledge. The type introduces an extra encoder module to take textual content as enter and further layers to mix the output of the speech encoder and the textual content encoder, and trains the type collectively on unlabeled speech, categorized speech, and textual content knowledge.

Within the ultimate level, USM is fine-tuned at the downstream duties. The total practicing pipeline is illustrated beneath. With the data bought right through pre-training, USM fashions reach just right high quality with just a small quantity of supervised knowledge from the downstream duties.

USM’s general practicing pipeline.

Key effects

Efficiency throughout more than one languages on YouTube Captions

Our encoder comprises 300+ languages via pre-training. We show the effectiveness of the pre-trained encoder via fine-tuning on YouTube Caption’s multilingual speech knowledge. The supervised YouTube knowledge contains 73 languages and has on moderate lower than 3 thousand hours of information according to language. Regardless of restricted supervised knowledge, the type achieves lower than 30% phrase error charge (WER; decrease is best) on moderate around the 73 languages, a milestone we’ve got by no means completed prior to. For en-US, USM has a 6% relative decrease WER in comparison to the present inner cutting-edge type. Finally, we examine with the lately launched huge type, Whisper (large-v2), which was once skilled with greater than 400k hours of categorized knowledge. For the comparability, we solely use the 18 languages that Whisper can effectively decode with not up to 40% WER. Our type has, on moderate, a 32.7% relative decrease WER in comparison to Whisper for those 18 languages.

USM helps all 73 languages within the YouTube Captions’ Take a look at Set and outperforms Whisper at the languages it might probably beef up with not up to 40% WER. Decrease WER is best.

Generalization to downstream ASR duties

On publicly to be had datasets, our type presentations decrease WER in comparison to Whisper on CORAAL (African American Vernacular English), SpeechStew (en-US), and FLEURS (102 languages). Our type achieves decrease WER with and with out practicing on in-domain knowledge. The comparability on FLEURS reviews the subset of languages (62) that overlaps with the languages supported by way of the Whisper type. For FLEURS, USM with out in-domain knowledge has a 65.8% relative decrease WER in comparison to Whisper and has a 67.8% relative decrease WER with in-domain knowledge.

Comparability of USM (without or with in-domain knowledge) and Whisper effects on ASR benchmarks. Decrease WER is best.

Efficiency on computerized speech translation (AST)

For speech translation, we fine-tune USM at the CoVoST dataset. Our type, which contains textual content by means of the second one level of our pipeline, achieves cutting-edge high quality with restricted supervised knowledge. To evaluate the breadth of the type’s efficiency, we phase the languages from the CoVoST dataset into top, medium, and occasional in line with useful resource availability and calculate the BLEU rating (upper is best) for every phase. As proven beneath, USM outperforms Whisper for all segments.

CoVoST BLEU rating. Upper BLEU is best.

Towards 1,000 languages

The advance of USM is a vital effort against understanding Google’s challenge to prepare the arena’s data and make it universally obtainable. We consider USM’s base type structure and coaching pipeline contain a basis on which we will be able to construct to increase speech modeling to the following 1,000 languages.

Be told Extra

Take a look at our paper right here. Researchers can request get admission to to the USM API right here.


We thank the entire co-authors for contributing to the mission and paper, together with Andrew Rosenberg, Ankur Bapna, Bhuvana Ramabhadran, Bo Li, Chung-Cheng Chiu, Daniel Park, Françoise Beaufays, Hagen Soltau, Gary Wang, Ginger Perng, James Qin, Jason Riesa, Johan Schalkwyk, Ke Hu, Nanxin Chen, Parisa Haghani, Pedro Moreno Mengibar, Rohit Prabhavalkar, Tara Sainath, Trevor Strohman, Vera Axelrod, Wei Han, Yonghui Wu, Yongqiang Wang, Yu Zhang, Zhehuai Chen, and Zhong Meng.

We additionally thank Alexis Conneau, Min Ma, Shikhar Bharadwaj, Sid Dalmia, Jiahui Yu, Jian Cheng, Paul Rubenstein, Ye Jia, Justin Snyder, Vincent Tsang, Yuanzhong Xu, Tao Wang for helpful discussions.

We recognize precious comments and beef up from Eli Collins, Jeff Dean, Sissie Hsiao, Zoubin Ghahramani. Particular due to Austin Tarango, Lara Tumeh, Amna Latif, and Jason Porta for his or her steerage round Accountable AI practices. We thank Elizabeth Adkison, James Cokerille for assist with naming the type, Tom Small for the animated graphic, Abhishek Bapna for editorial beef up, and Erica Moreira for useful resource control . We thank Anusha Ramesh for comments, steerage, and help with the e-newsletter technique, and Calum Barnes and Salem Haykal for his or her precious partnership.

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