International Conference on Speech and Computer


Sebastian Möller

Quality and Usability Lab, TU Berlin, and German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence, DFKI

Quality Engineering of Speech and Language Services

Abstract: Speech- and language-based services have reached a high popularity, reaching an increasing group of users. In order to guarantee high acceptance on the long run, the quality and user experience has to be considered in the service development cycle in a systematic way. The term “quality engineering” has been used as an umbrella term for such systematic approaches.

In the talk, such approaches will be illustrated for two exemplary services. The first one is a spoken dialogue service where (synthetic) speech production, dialogue management, and speech perception need to be considered from a human quality point-of-view. Instrumental prediction of text-to-speech quality, dialogue simulation, as well as instrumental recognition of speech and speaker characteristics are building blocks to ensure high quality experience. The second service is a language translation service, in which automatic as well as human intelligence is combined in order to reach best possible outcome. Here, crowdsourcing approaches are used to translate and evaluate language data. For each of the two services, experimental data is presented which illustrates the state-of-the-art performance, but also open research questions which need to be answered to improve quality and user experience.

Biography: Sebastian Möller studied electrical engineering at the universities of Bochum (Germany), Orléans (France) and Bologna (Italy). From 1994 to 2005, he held the position of a scientific researcher at the Institute of Communication Acoustics (IKA), Ruhr-University Bochum, and worked on speech signal processing, speech technology, communication acoustics, as well as on speech communication quality aspects. From 2005 to 2015, he worked at Telekom Innovation Laboratories, an An-Institut of TU Berlin. He was appointed Full Professor for the subject "Quality and Usability" at TU Berlin in April 2007. From 2015 to 2017, he was Vice Dean for Research of the Faculty for Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at TU Berlin, and since April 2017, he serves as the Dean of this faculty. He also leads the research department "Language Technology" at the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence, DFKI.

He received a Doctor-of-Engineering degree at Ruhr-University Bochum in 1999 for his work on the assessment and prediction of speech quality in telecommunications. In 2000, he was a guest scientist at the IDIAP in Martigny (Switzerland) where he worked on the quality of speech recognition systems. He gained the qualification needed to be a professor (venia legendi) at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology at Ruhr-University Bochum in 2004, with a book on the quality of telephone-based spoken dialogue systems. He worked as a Visiting Fellow/Visiting Professor at MARCS Auditory Laboratories, University of Western Sydney, at the Universidad de Granada (Spain), at the Ben Gurion University of the Negev in Be'er Sheva (Israel), and at NTNU in Trondheim (Norway). Since 2012, he is Adjunct Professor at the University of Canberra. His most recent book on "Quality Engineering" was published in 2010, and his co-edited book on "Quality of Experience: Advanced Concepts, Applications and Methods" in 2014.
Sebastian Möller was awarded the GEERS prize in 1998 for his interdisciplinary work on the analysis of infant cries for early hearing-impairment detection, the ITG prize of the German Association for Electrical, Electronic & Information Technologies (VDE) in 2001, the Lothar-Cremer prize of the German Acoustical Association (DEGA) in 2003, a Heisenberg fellowship of the German Research Foundation (DFG) in 2005, and the Johann Philipp Reis prize in 2009. Since 1997, he has taken part in the standardisation activities of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU-T) on transmission performance of telephone networks and terminals. He was acting as a Rapporteur for question Q.8/12 from 2001-2016. He headed the special interest group on speech acoustics of DEGA from 2009 to 2015, is board member of the ITG since 2015, and of the International Speech Communication Association (ISCA) since 2016. He served as General Chair for Interspeech 2015 in Dresden.