On joint training with interfaces for spoken language understanding

Conference of the International Speech Communication Association (INTERSPEECH)(2022)

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Spoken language understanding (SLU) systems extract both text transcripts and semantics associated with intents and slots from input speech utterances. SLU systems usually consist of (1) an automatic speech recognition (ASR) module, (2) an interface module that exposes relevant outputs from ASR, and (3) a natural language understanding (NLU) module. Interfaces in SLU systems carry information on text transcriptions or richer information like neural embeddings from ASR to NLU. In this paper, we study how interfaces affect joint-training for spoken language understanding. Most notably, we obtain the state-of-the-art results on the publicly available 50-hr SLURP [1] dataset. We first leverage large-size pretrained ASR and NLU models that are connected by a text interface, and then jointly train both models via a sequence loss function. For scenarios where pretrained models are not utilized, the best results are obtained through a joint sequence loss training using richer neural interfaces. Finally, we show the overall diminishing impact of leveraging pretrained models with increased training data size.
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Key words
speech recognition, spoken language understanding, neural interfaces, multitask training
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