Doctoral study contributes to speech technology development both locally and internationally

Annette Willemse -- Mon, 04/25/2016 - 12:59

Doctoral study contributes to speech technology development both locally and internationally 

Automated recognition of speech containing multilingual proper names is a challenging task, especially if the language of origin of such names are unknown.

With this in mind Dr Oluwapelumi Giwa set out to develop a new approach to text-based language identification (T-LID) of isolated words, and demonstrated the impact of improved language identification on grapheme-to-phoneme (G2P) prediction, and ultimately, speech recognition accuracy. In his thesis: “Language identification for proper name pronunciations”, Dr Giwa – a member of the Research Niche Area: Multilingual Speech Technologies (MuST), produced a comprehensive set of T-LID results for four languages not previously studied in this context, and curated two new acoustic corpora of South African names. 

Algorithmic innovations included the development of a novel T-LID technique, a new G2P performance metric and a multilingual extension to the T-LID task. The promotor of his PhD-study was Prof MH Davel.

More about Dr Giwa

Born on 30 January 1986 in Osogbo, Nigeria, Oluwapelumi Giwa completed the West African Council Examination (equivalent to South African Matric) in 2000 at Ambassadors College in Lle-lfe, Nigeria, at the age 14. Shortly after completing matric, the family relocated to Botswana where he started his career in Computer Science. After studying Russian at the Saint-Petersburg State University of Technology and Design in 2004; he joined Saint-Petersburg Electrotechnical University (LETI) where he obtained a degree in Computer Systems and Engineering (2008) and an MSc in Networking and Telecommunication (2010).

In 2011, he joined the Multilingual Speech Technologies (MuST) research group at the Vaal Triangle Campus of the North-West University as a PhD student. He has published internationally on multilingual speech technology and was the recipient of an ISCA (International Speech Communication Association) travel award in 2014. 

Prof Mareli Davel and Dr Oluwapelumi Giwa Dr Oluwapelumi Giwa