Towards End-To-End Speech Recognition with Recurrent Neural Networks


Alex Graves, Navdeep Jaitly ;
Proceedings of the 31st International Conference on Machine Learning, PMLR 32(2):1764-1772, 2014.


This paper presents a speech recognition system that directly transcribes audio data with text, without requiring an intermediate phonetic representation. The system is based on a combination of the deep bidirectional LSTM recurrent neural network architecture and the Connectionist Temporal Classification objective function. A modification to the objective function is introduced that trains the network to minimise the expectation of an arbitrary transcription loss function. This allows a direct optimisation of the word error rate, even in the absence of a lexicon or language model. The system achieves a word error rate of 27.3% on the Wall Street Journal corpus with no prior linguistic information, 21.9% with only a lexicon of allowed words, and 8.2% with a trigram language model. Combining the network with a baseline system further reduces the error rate to 6.7%.

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