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Title: Multilingual Speech Processing Title of Lecture Series: “Technical Cognitive Systems”

Venue: Tsinghua University, FIT1-415 2014/11/19 15:00-17:00


Human communication relies on signals like speech, mimics, or gestures and the interpretation of these signals seems to be innate to human beings. In contrast, human interaction with machines and thus human communication mediated through machines is far from being natural. To date, it is restricted to few channels and the capabilities of machines to interpret the meaning of human signals are still very limited.

At the Cognitive Systems Lab (CSL) of Karlsruhe Institute of Technologies (KIT) we explore human-centered cognitive systems to improve man-machine interaction as well as machine-mediated human communication. We aim to benefit from the strength of machines by departing from just mimicking the human way of communication. Rather we focus on considering the full range of biosignals emitted from the human body, such speech, motion, brain and muscle activity. These signals can be directly measured and interpreted by machines, leveraging emerging wearable, small and wireless sensor technologies for biosignal capturing. Using biosignals like brain activity offers an inside perspective on human mental states, intentions, or needs and thus complements the traditional way of observing humans from the outside.

In my lectures I will discuss ongoing research in the field of “Technical Cognitive Systems” and describe systems developed at CSL, such as speech recognition, silent speech interfaces that rely on articulatory muscle movement, and interfaces that use brain activity to determine users' mental states, such as task activity, cognitive workload, attention, confusion, emotion, and personality. We hope that our research will lead to a new generation of human centered systems, which are completely aware of the users' needs and provide an intuitive, efficient, robust, and adaptive input mechanism to interaction and communication.


Tanja Schultz received her Ph.D. and Masters in Computer Science from University of Karlsruhe, Germany in 2000 and 1995 respectively and passed the German state examination for teachers of

Mathematics, Sports, and Educational Science from Heidelberg University, in 1990.

She joined Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 2000 and holds a position as Research Professor at the Language Technologies Institute. Since 2007 she is Full Professor at the Department of Informatics of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) in Germany. She directs the Cognitive Systems Lab, where her research activities focus on human-machine communication with a particular area of expertise on multilingual speech processing, and on human-centered human-machine interfaces based on biosignals, i.e. capturing, processing, and interpreting muscle and brain activity as well as motion.

Tanja Schultz received several awards for her work, such as the FZI price for an outstanding Ph.D. thesis in 2001, the Allen Newell Medal for Research Excellence from Carnegie Mellon for her contribution to Speech Translation and the ISCA best paper award for her publication on language independent acoustic modeling in 2002, the Plux Wireless award in 2011 for the development of Airwriting, the Alcatel-Lucent Research Award for Technical Communication in 2012, a Google Research Award and the Otto-Haxel Award in 2013, as well as several best paper awards. She is the author of more than 280 articles published in books, journals, and proceedings. Tanja Schultz is a member of the Society of Computer Science (GI) for more than 20 years, of the IEEE Computer Society, and the International Speech Communication Association ISCA, where she currently serves as elected president.