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Booz Allen Hamilton Distinguished Colloquium in Electrical and Computer Engineering
"Looking Beyond Words in Spoken Document Processing"
Professor Mari Ostendorf
Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies, College of Engineering
University of Washington
As storage costs drop and bandwidth increases, there has been a rapid growth of spoken information available via the web or in online archives -- including radio and TV broadcasts, oral histories, legislative proceedings, call center recordings, etc. -- raising problems of document retrieval, information extraction, summarization and translation for spoken language. While there is a long tradition of research in these technologies for text, new challenges arise when moving from written to spoken language. In this talk, we look at differences between speech and text, and how we can leverage the information in the speech signal beyond the words to provide a rich, automatically generated transcript that better serves language processing applications. In particular, we look at how prosodic cues can be used to recognize segmentation, emphasis and intent in spoken language, and how this information can impact tasks such as topic detection, information extraction, translation, and social group analysis.
Mari Ostendorf is a Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Washington, currently also serving as the Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies in the College of Engineering. After receiving her PhD in electrical engineering from Stanford University, she worked at BBN Laboratories, then Boston University, and then joined the University of Washington (UW) in 1999. She has also been a visiting researcher at the ATR Interpreting Telecommunications Laboratory and at the University of Karlsruhe. At UW, she is currently an Endowed Professor of System Design Methodologies in Electrical Engineering and an Adjunct Professor in Computer Science and Engineering and in Linguistics. Prof. Ostendorf's research interests are in dynamic and linguistically-motivated statistical models for speech and language processing. Her work has resulted in over 200 publications and 2 paper awards. Prof. Ostendorf has served as co-Editor of Computer Speech and Language, as the Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Transactions on Audio, Speech and Language Processing, and is currently the VP Publications for the IEEE Signal Processing Society and a member of the ISCA Advisory Council. She is a Fellow of IEEE and ISCA and a recipient of the 2010 IEEE HP Harriett B. Rigas Award.
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