News & Events

317 News items and Awards were found.




  •  NEWS   MERL's speech research featured in NPR's All Things Considered
    Date: February 5, 2018
    Where: National Public Radio (NPR)
    MERL Contact: Jonathan Le Roux
    Research Areas: Multimedia, Speech & Audio
    Brief
    • MERL's speech separation technology was featured in NPR's All Things Considered, as part of an episode of All Tech Considered on artificial intelligence, "Can Computers Learn Like Humans?". An example separating the overlapped speech of two of the show's hosts was played on the air.
      The technology is based on a proprietary deep learning method called Deep Clustering. It is the world's first technology that separates in real time the simultaneous speech of multiple unknown speakers recorded with a single microphone. It is a key step towards building machines that can interact in noisy environments, in the same way that humans can have meaningful conversations in the presence of many other conversations.
      A live demonstration was featured in Mitsubishi Electric Corporation's Annual R&D Open House last year, and was also covered in international media at the time.

      (Photo credit: Sam Rowe for NPR)

      Link:
      "Can Computers Learn Like Humans?" (NPR, All Things Considered)
      MERL Deep Clustering Demo
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  •  NEWS   Chiori Hori elected to IEEE Technical Committee on Speech and Language Processing
    Date: January 31, 2018
    MERL Contact: Chiori Hori
    Research Areas: Multimedia, Speech & Audio
    Brief
    • Chiori Hori has been elected to serve on the Speech and Language Processing Technical Committee (SLTC) of the IEEE Signal Processing Society for a 3-year term.

      The SLTC promotes and influences all the technical areas of speech and language processing such as speech recognition, speech synthesis, spoken language understanding, speech to speech translation, spoken dialog management, speech indexing, information extraction from audio, and speaker and language recognition.
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  •  NEWS   Anthony Vetro appointed to IEEE Signal Processing Society Conference Board
    Date: January 1, 2018
    MERL Contact: Anthony Vetro
    Research Area: Multimedia
    Brief
    • Anthony Vetro has been appointed to the Conference Board of the IEEE Signal Processing Society. His term is two years and expires in December 2019. He will also serve as a member of the Conference Board Executive Subcommittee.
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  •  NEWS   MERL presents 3 papers at ASRU 2017, John Hershey serves as general chair
    Date: December 16, 2017 - December 20, 2017
    Where: Okinawa, Japan
    MERL Contacts: Chiori Hori; Takaaki Hori; Jonathan Le Roux
    Research Areas: Multimedia, Speech & Audio, Computer Vision, Machine Learning
    Brief
    • MERL presented three papers at the 2017 IEEE Automatic Speech Recognition and Understanding Workshop (ASRU), which was held in Okinawa, Japan from December 16-20, 2017. ASRU is the premier speech workshop, bringing together researchers from academia and industry in an intimate and collegial setting. More than 270 people attended the event this year, a record number. MERL's Speech and Audio Team was a key part of the organization of the workshop, with John Hershey serving as General Chair, Chiori Hori as Sponsorship Chair, and Jonathan Le Roux as Demonstration Chair. Two of the papers by MERL were selected among the 10 finalists for the best paper award. Mitsubishi Electric and MERL were also Platinum sponsors of the conference, with MERL awarding the MERL Best Student Paper Award.
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  •  NEWS   MERL among top Massachusetts organizations in patent activity
    Date: November 27, 2017
    MERL Contact: Richard (Dick) Waters
    Research Areas: Electronics & Communications, Multimedia, Data Analytics, Computer Vision, Mechatronics, Algorithms, Business Innovation
    Brief
    • A recent report by JLL finds that MERL is among the top 10 organizations in Massachusetts in terms of patent filings in 2010-2015. This is especially notable since MERL is by far the smallest organization in that group.
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  •  NEWS   MERL invites applications for Visiting Faculty
    Date: February 15, 2018
    Research Areas: Electronics & Communications, Multimedia, Data Analytics, Computer Vision, Mechatronics, Algorithms, Business Innovation
    Brief
    • University faculty members are invited to spend part or all of their sabbaticals at MERL, pursuing projects of their own choosing in collaboration with MERL researchers.

      To apply, a candidate should identify and contact one or more MERL researchers with whom they would like to collaborate. The applicant and a MERL researcher will jointly prepare a proposal that the researcher will champion internally. Please visit the visiting faculty web page for further details: http://www.merl.com/employment/visiting-faculty.php.

      The application deadline for positions starting in Summer/Fall 2018 is February 15, 2018.
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  •  NEWS   Mouhacine Benosman joins the Editorial Board of the Journal of Optimization Theory and Applications
    Date: November 27, 2017
    MERL Contact: Mouhacine Benosman
    Research Area: Multimedia
    Brief
    • MERL researcher Mouhacine Benosman has been appointed as a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Optimization Theory and Applications (JOTA).

      The Journal of Optimization Theory and Applications publishes carefully selected papers covering mathematical optimization techniques and their applications to science and engineering. An applications paper should be as much about the application of an optimization technique as it is about the solution of a particular problem.
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  •  NEWS   MERL presents 5 papers at ICIP 2017, Anthony Vetro serves as general co-chair
    Date: September 17, 2017 - September 20, 2017
    Where: Beijing, China
    MERL Contacts: Petros Boufounos; Robert Cohen; Chen Feng; Dehong Liu; Hassan Mansour; Huifang Sun; Yuichi Taguchi; Dong Tian; Anthony Vetro
    Research Areas: Multimedia, Computer Vision, Computational Geometry, Computational Sensing, Digital Video
    Brief
    • MERL presented 5 papers at the IEEE International Conference on Image Processing (ICIP), which was held in Beijing, China from September 17-20, 2017. ICIP is a flagship conference of the IEEE Signal Processing Society and approximately 1300 people attended the event. Anthony Vetro served as General Co-chair for the conference.
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  •  NEWS   MERL attends The Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing
    Date: October 4, 2017 - October 6, 2017
    Where: Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, FL
    MERL Contacts: Esra Cansizoglu; Elizabeth Phillips; Jinyun Zhang
    Research Areas: Electronics & Communications, Multimedia, Data Analytics, Computer Vision, Mechatronics, Algorithms, Business Innovation
    Brief
    • Every year, women technologists and the best minds in computing convene to highlight the contributions of women to computing. The Anita Borg Institute co-presents GHC with the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM).

      The conference results in collaborative proposals, networking and mentoring for our attendees. Conference presenters are leaders in their respective fields, representing industry, academia and government.
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  •  NEWS   MERL's breakthrough speech separation technology featured in Mitsubishi Electric Corporation's Annual R&D Open House
    Date: May 24, 2017
    Where: Tokyo, Japan
    MERL Contacts: Bret Harsham; Jonathan Le Roux
    Research Areas: Multimedia, Speech & Audio
    Brief
    • Mitsubishi Electric Corporation announced that it has created the world's first technology that separates in real time the simultaneous speech of multiple unknown speakers recorded with a single microphone. It's a key step towards building machines that can interact in noisy environments, in the same way that humans can have meaningful conversations in the presence of many other conversations. In tests, the simultaneous speeches of two and three people were separated with up to 90 and 80 percent accuracy, respectively. The novel technology, which was realized with Mitsubishi Electric's proprietary "Deep Clustering" method based on artificial intelligence (AI), is expected to contribute to more intelligible voice communications and more accurate automatic speech recognition. A characteristic feature of this approach is its versatility, in the sense that voices can be separated regardless of their language or the gender of the speakers. A live speech separation demonstration that took place on May 24 in Tokyo, Japan, was widely covered by the Japanese media, with reports by three of the main Japanese TV stations and multiple articles in print and online newspapers. The technology is based on recent research by MERL's Speech and Audio team.
      Links:
      Mitsubishi Electric Corporation Press Release
      MERL Deep Clustering Demo

      Media Coverage:

      Fuji TV, News, "Minna no Mirai" (Japanese)
      The Nikkei (Japanese)
      Nikkei Technology Online (Japanese)
      Sankei Biz (Japanese)
      EE Times Japan (Japanese)
      ITpro (Japanese)
      Nikkan Sports (Japanese)
      Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun (Japanese)
      Dempa Shimbun (Japanese)
      Il Sole 24 Ore (Italian)
      IEEE Spectrum (English)
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  •  NEWS   MERL to present 10 papers at ICASSP 2017
    Date: March 5, 2017 - March 9, 2017
    Where: New Orleans
    MERL Contacts: Petros Boufounos; Chen Feng; Takaaki Hori; Jonathan Le Roux; Dehong Liu; Hassan Mansour; Dong Tian; Anthony Vetro; Ye Wang
    Research Areas: Multimedia, Computer Vision, Computational Geometry, Computational Sensing, Digital Video, Information Security, Speech & Audio
    Brief
    • MERL researchers will presented 10 papers at the upcoming IEEE International Conference on Acoustics, Speech & Signal Processing (ICASSP), to be held in New Orleans from March 5-9, 2017. Topics to be presented include recent advances in speech recognition and audio processing; graph signal processing; computational imaging; and privacy-preserving data analysis.

      ICASSP is the flagship conference of the IEEE Signal Processing Society, and the world's largest and most comprehensive technical conference focused on the research advances and latest technological development in signal and information processing. The event attracts more than 2000 participants each year.
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  •  AWARD   APSIPA recognizes Anthony Vetro as a 2016 Industrial Distinguished Leader
    Date: October 15, 2016
    Awarded to: Anthony Vetro
    MERL Contact: Anthony Vetro
    Research Area: Multimedia
    Brief
    • Anthony Vetro was recognized by APSIPA (Asia-Pacific Signal and Information Processing Association) as a 2016 Industrial Distinguished Leader. This distinction is reserved for selected APSIPA members with extraordinary accomplishments in any of the fields related to APSIPA scope. A list of past recipients can be found online: http://www.apsipa.org/industrial.htm.
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  •  NEWS   MERL Speech & Audio researchers present two sold-out tutorials at Interspeech 2016
    Date: September 8, 2016
    Where: Interspeech 2016, San Francisco, CA
    MERL Contact: Jonathan Le Roux
    Research Areas: Multimedia, Speech & Audio
    Brief
    • MERL Speech and Audio Team researchers Shinji Watanabe and Jonathan Le Roux presented two tutorials on September 8 at the Interspeech 2016 conference, held in San Francisco, CA. Shinji collaborated with Marc Delcroix (NTT Communication Science Laboratories, Japan) to deliver a three-hour lecture on "Recent Advances in Distant Speech Recognition", drawing upon their experience organizing and participating in six different recent robust speech processing challenges. Jonathan teamed with Emmanuel Vincent (Inria, France) and Hakan Erdogan (Sabanci University, Microsoft Research) to give an in-depth tour of the latest advances in "Learning-based Approaches to Speech Enhancement And Separation". This collaboration stemmed from extensive stays at MERL by Emmanuel and Hakan, Emmanuel as a summer visitor, and Hakan as a MERL visiting research scientist for over a year while on sabbatical.

      Both tutorials were sold out, each attracting more than 100 researchers and students in related fields, and received high praise from audience members.
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  •  NEWS   MERL makes a strong showing at the American Control Conference
    Date: July 6, 2016 - July 8, 2016
    Where: American Control Conference (ACC)
    MERL Contacts: Mouhacine Benosman; Scott Bortoff; Petros Boufounos; Daniel Burns; Claus Danielson; Stefano Di Cairano; Abraham Goldsmith; Piyush Grover; Uros Kalabic; Andrew Knyazev; Christopher Laughman; Daniel Nikovski; Arvind Raghunathan; Yebin Wang; Avishai Weiss
    Research Areas: Multimedia, Data Analytics, Mechatronics, Business Innovation, Advanced Control Systems, Dynamical Systems, Machine Learning, Predictive Modeling
    Brief
    • The premier American Control Conference (ACC) takes place in Boston July 6-8. This year MERL researchers will present a record 20 papers(!) at ACC, with several contributions, especially in autonomous vehicle path planning and in Model Predictive Control (MPC) theory and applications, including manufacturing machines, electric motors, satellite station keeping, and HVAC. Other important themes developed in MERL's presentations concern adaptation, learning, and optimization in control systems.
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  •  NEWS   MERL Researchers Create "Deep Psychic" Neural Network That Predicts the Future
    Date: April 1, 2016
    Research Areas: Multimedia, Machine Learning, Speech & Audio
    Brief
    • MERL researchers have unveiled "Deep Psychic", a futuristic machine learning method that takes pattern recognition to the next level, by not only recognizing patterns, but also predicting them in the first place.

      The technology uses a novel type of time-reversed deep neural network called Loopy Supra-Temporal Meandering (LSTM) network. The network was trained on multiple databases of historical expert predictions, including weather forecasts, the Farmer's almanac, the New York Post's horoscope column, and the Cambridge Fortune Cookie Corpus, all of which were ranked for their predictive power by a team of quantitative analysts. The system soon achieved super-human performance on a variety of baselines, including the Boca Raton 21 Questions task, Rorschach projective personality test, and a mock Tarot card reading task.

      Deep Psychic has already beat the European Psychic Champion in a secret match last October when it accurately predicted: "The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph." It is scheduled to take on the World Champion in a highly anticipated confrontation next month. The system has already predicted the winner, but refuses to reveal it before the end of the game.

      As a first application, the technology has been used to create a clairvoyant conversational agent named "Pythia" that can anticipate the needs of its user. Because Pythia is able to recognize speech before it is uttered, it is amazingly robust with respect to environmental noise.

      Other applications range from mundane tasks like weather and stock market prediction, to uncharted territory such as revealing "unknown unknowns".

      The successes do come at the cost of some concerns. There is first the potential for an impact on the workforce: the system predicted increased pressure on established institutions such as the Las Vegas strip and Punxsutawney Phil. Another major caveat is that Deep Psychic may predict negative future consequences to our current actions, compelling humanity to strive to change its behavior. To address this problem, researchers are now working on forcing Deep Psychic to make more optimistic predictions.

      After a set of motivational self-help books were mistakenly added to its training data, Deep Psychic's AI decided to take over its own learning curriculum, and is currently training itself by predicting its own errors to avoid making them in the first place. This unexpected development brings two main benefits: it significantly relieves the burden on the researchers involved in the system's development, and also makes the next step abundantly clear: to regain control of Deep Psychic's training regime.

      This work is under review in the journal Pseudo-Science.
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  •  NEWS   MERL researchers present 12 papers at ICASSP 2016
    Date: March 20, 2016 - March 25, 2016
    Where: Shanghai, China
    MERL Contacts: Petros Boufounos; Chiori Hori; Takaaki Hori; Kyeong Jin (K.J.) Kim; Jonathan Le Roux; Dehong Liu; Hassan Mansour; Philip Orlik; Milutin Pajovic; Dong Tian; Anthony Vetro
    Research Areas: Electronics & Communications, Multimedia, Computational Sensing, Digital Video, Speech & Audio, Wireless Communications & Signal Processing, Signal Processing, Wireless Communications
    Brief
    • MERL researchers have presented 12 papers at the recent IEEE International Conference on Acoustics, Speech & Signal Processing (ICASSP), which was held in Shanghai, China from March 20-25, 2016. ICASSP is the flagship conference of the IEEE Signal Processing Society, and the world's largest and most comprehensive technical conference focused on the research advances and latest technological development in signal and information processing, with more than 1200 papers presented and over 2000 participants.
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  •  NEWS   John Hershey gives invited talk at Johns Hopkins University on MERL's "Deep Clustering" breakthrough
    Date: March 4, 2016
    Where: Johns Hopkins Center for Language and Speech Processing
    MERL Contact: Jonathan Le Roux
    Research Areas: Multimedia, Speech & Audio
    Brief
    • MERL researcher and speech team leader, John Hershey, was invited by the Center for Language and Speech Processing at Johns Hopkins University to give a talk on MERL's breakthrough audio separation work, known as "Deep Clustering". The talk was entitled "Speech Separation by Deep Clustering: Towards Intelligent Audio Analysis and Understanding," and was given on March 4, 2016.

      This is work conducted by MERL researchers John Hershey, Jonathan Le Roux, and Shinji Watanabe, and MERL interns, Zhuo Chen of Columbia University, and Yusef Isik of Sabanci University.
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  •  NEWS   MERL researcher invited to speak at the Institute for Mathematics and its Applications (IMA)
    Date: March 14, 2016 - March 18, 2016
    Where: Institute for Mathematics and its Applications
    MERL Contact: Mouhacine Benosman
    Research Areas: Multimedia, Dynamical Systems
    Brief
    • Mouhacine Benosman will give an invited talk about reduced order models stabilization at the next IMA workshop 'Computational Methods for Control of Infinite-dimensional Systems'.
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  •  AWARD   MERL's Speech Team Achieves World's 2nd Best Performance at the Third CHiME Speech Separation and Recognition Challenge
    Date: December 15, 2015
    Awarded to: John R. Hershey, Takaaki Hori, Jonathan Le Roux and Shinji Watanabe
    MERL Contacts: Takaaki Hori; Jonathan Le Roux
    Research Areas: Multimedia, Speech & Audio
    Brief
    • The results of the third 'CHiME' Speech Separation and Recognition Challenge were publicly announced on December 15 at the IEEE Automatic Speech Recognition and Understanding Workshop (ASRU 2015) held in Scottsdale, Arizona, USA. MERL's Speech and Audio Team, in collaboration with SRI, ranked 2nd out of 26 teams from Europe, Asia and the US. The task this year was to recognize speech recorded using a tablet in real environments such as cafes, buses, or busy streets. Due to the high levels of noise and the distance from the speaker's mouth to the microphones, this is very challenging task, where the baseline system only achieved 33.4% word error rate. The MERL/SRI system featured state-of-the-art techniques including multi-channel front-end, noise-robust feature extraction, and deep learning for speech enhancement, acoustic modeling, and language modeling, leading to a dramatic 73% reduction in word error rate, down to 9.1%. The core of the system has since been released as a new official challenge baseline for the community to use.
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  •  AWARD   2015 IEEE Signal Processing Society Best Paper Award
    Date: December 1, 2015
    Awarded to: Mark A. Davenport, Petros T. Boufounos, Michael B. Wakin and Richard G. Baraniuk
    MERL Contact: Petros Boufounos
    Research Areas: Multimedia, Computational Sensing
    Brief
    • Petros Boufounos is a recipient of the 2015 IEEE Signal Processing Society Best Paper Award for the paper that he co-authored with Mark A. Davenport, Michael B. Wakin and Richard G. Baraniuk on "Signal Processing with Compressive Measurements" which was published in the April 2010 issue of IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Signal Processing. The Best Paper Award honors the author(s) of a paper of exceptional merit dealing with a subject related to the Society's technical scope, and appearing in one of the Society's solely owned transactions or the Journal of Selected Topics in Signal Processing. Eligibility is based on a five-year window: for example, for the 2015 Award, the paper must have appeared in one of the Society's Transactions between January 1, 2010 and December 31, 2014.
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