Shinji Watanabe

Shinji Watanabe
  • Biography

    Prior to joining MERL in 2012, Shinji was a research scientist at NTT Communication Science Laboratories in Japan for 10 years, working on Bayesian learning for speech recognition, speaker adaptation, and language modeling. His research interests include speech recognition, spoken language processing, and machine learning.

  • News & Events


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  • Awards

    •  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: John R. Hershey; Takaaki Hori; Jonathan Le Roux; Shinji Watanabe
      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   Awaya Prize Young Researcher Award
      Date: March 11, 2014
      Awarded to: Yuuki Tachioka
      Awarded for: "Effectiveness of discriminative approaches for speech recognition under noisy environments on the 2nd CHiME Challenge"
      Awarded by: Acoustical Society of Japan (ASJ)
      MERL Contacts: Shinji Watanabe; Jonathan Le Roux; John R. Hershey
      Research Areas: Multimedia, Speech & Audio
      Brief
      • MELCO researcher Yuuki Tachioka received the Awaya Prize Young Researcher Award from the Acoustical Society of Japan (ASJ) for "effectiveness of discriminative approaches for speech recognition under noisy environments on the 2nd CHiME Challenge", which was based on joint work with MERL Speech & Audio team researchers Shinji Watanabe, Jonathan Le Roux and John R. Hershey.
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    •  AWARD   CHiME 2012 Speech Separation and Recognition Challenge Best Performance
      Date: June 1, 2013
      Awarded to: Yuuki Tachioka, Shinji Watanabe, Jonathan Le Roux and John R. Hershey
      Awarded for: "Discriminative Methods for Noise Robust Speech Recognition: A CHiME Challenge Benchmark"
      Awarded by: International Workshop on Machine Listening in Multisource Environments (CHiME)
      MERL Contacts: Shinji Watanabe; Jonathan Le Roux; John R. Hershey
      Research Areas: Multimedia, Speech & Audio
      Brief
      • The results of the 2nd 'CHiME' Speech Separation and Recognition Challenge are out! The team formed by MELCO researcher Yuuki Tachioka and MERL Speech & Audio team researchers Shinji Watanabe, Jonathan Le Roux and John Hershey obtained the best results in the continuous speech recognition task (Track 2). This very challenging task consisted in recognizing speech corrupted by highly non-stationary noises recorded in a real living room. Our proposal, which also included a simple yet extremely efficient denoising front-end, focused on investigating and developing state-of-the-art automatic speech recognition back-end techniques: feature transformation methods, as well as discriminative training methods for acoustic and language modeling. Our system significantly outperformed other participants. Our code has since been released as an improved baseline for the community to use.
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  • Research Highlights

  • MERL Publications

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  • Videos

  • MERL Issued Patents

    • Title: "Method for using a Multi-Scale Recurrent Neural Network with Pretraining for Spoken Language Understanding Tasks"
      Inventors: Watanabe, Shinji; Luan, Yi; Harsham, Bret A.
      Patent No.: 9,607,616
      Issue Date: Mar 28, 2017
    • Title: "Method for Processing Speech Signals Using an Ensemble of Speech Enhancement Procedures"
      Inventors: Le Roux, Jonathan; Watanabe, Shinji; Hershey, John R.
      Patent No.: 9,601,130
      Issue Date: Mar 21, 2017
    • Title: "Method for Distinguishing Components of an Acoustic Signal"
      Inventors: Hershey, John R.; Le Roux, Jonathan; Watanabe, Shinji; Chen, Zhuo
      Patent No.: 9,638,110
      Issue Date: Jun 14, 2016
    • Title: "PATTERN RECOGNITION APPARATUS AND PATTERN RECOGNITION METHOD"
      Inventors: Tachioka, Yuuki; Watanabe, Shinji
      Patent No.: 9,336,770
      Issue Date: May 10, 2016
    • Title: "Log-linear Dialog Manager"
      Inventors: Watanabe, Shinji; Tang, Hao
      Patent No.: 9,311,430
      Issue Date: Apr 12, 2016
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