TRR 318 - Technically enabled explanation of speaker traits (Subproject C06)


A voice might be described as hoarse, or it may be clear, deep, or breathy. Researchers in Project C06 are looking at issues of how different vocal traits sound, and how a voice can be represented in all of its many facets. Here, linguists and computer scientists are working to develop an intelligent system that professionals can use to explain the phenomenon of voice to general audiences. To do this, the artificial intelligence (AI) system generates speech samples in which the same content is spoken by different voices. This may also be helpful for clinical linguists working in diagnostics, for example, to help identify the vocal characteristics of Parkinson's disease. By demonstrating how the system measures differences between voices, vocal modelling becomes more transparent and comprehensible. The goal of the research team is to find out whether people can better imitate and describe a voice with the help of the AI system.

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Project type:
Project duration:
07/2021 - 06/2025
Funded by:
DFG-Datenbank gepris
Tiefe generative Modelle für die Phonetikforschung



Dis­sect­ing, un­der­stand­ing and ma­nip­u­lat­ing the hu­man voice

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Principal Investigators

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Prof. Dr. Reinhold Häb-Umbach

Communications Engineering / Heinz Nixdorf Institute

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Petra Wagner

Universität Bielefeld

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Cooperating Institutions

Universität Bielefeld

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On Feature Importance and Interpretability of Speaker Representations
F. Rautenberg, M. Kuhlmann, J. Wiechmann, F. Seebauer, P. Wagner, R. Haeb-Umbach, in: ITG Conference on Speech Communication, 2023.
Explaining voice characteristics to novice voice practitioners-How successful is it?
J. Wiechmann, F. Rautenberg, P. Wagner, R. Haeb-Umbach, in: 20th International Congress of the Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS) , 2023.
Re-examining the quality dimensions of synthetic speech
F. Seebauer, M. Kuhlmann, R. Haeb-Umbach, P. Wagner, in: 12th Speech Synthesis Workshop (SSW) 2023, 2023.
Speech Disentanglement for Analysis and Modification of Acoustic and Perceptual Speaker Characteristics
F. Rautenberg, M. Kuhlmann, J. Ebbers, J. Wiechmann, F. Seebauer, P. Wagner, R. Haeb-Umbach, in: Fortschritte Der Akustik - DAGA 2023, 2023, pp. 1409–1412.
Technically enabled explaining of voice characteristics
J. Wiechmann, T. Glarner, F. Rautenberg, P. Wagner, R. Haeb-Umbach, in: 18. Phonetik Und Phonologie Im Deutschsprachigen Raum (P&P), 2022.
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