For research in audiovisual interview archives often it is not only of interest what is said but also how. Sentiment analysis and emotion recognition can help capture, categorize and make these different facets searchable. In particular, for oral history archives, such indexing technologies can be of great interest. These technologies can help understand the role of emotions in historical remembering. However, humans often perceive sentiments and emotions ambiguously and subjectively. Moreover, oral history interviews have multi-layered levels of complex, sometimes contradictory, sometimes very subtle facets of emotions. Therefore, the question arises of the chance machines and humans have capturing and assigning these into predefined categories. This paper investigates the ambiguity in human perception of emotions and sentiment in German oral history interviews and the impact on machine learning systems. Our experiments reveal substantial differences in human perception for different emotions. Furthermore, we report from ongoing machine learning experiments with different modalities. We show that the human perceptual ambiguity and other challenges, such as class imbalance and lack of training data, currently limit the opportunities of these technologies for oral history archives. Nonetheless, our work uncovers promising observations and possibilities for further research.
Sequence labeling systems should perform reliably not only under ideal conditions but also with corrupted inputs—as these systems often process user-generated text or follow an error-prone upstream component. To this end, we formulate the noisy sequence labeling problem, where the input may undergo an unknown noising process and propose two Noise-Aware Training (NAT) objectives that improve robustness of sequence labeling performed on perturbed input: Our data augmentation method trains a neural model using a mixture of clean and noisy samples, whereas our stability training algorithm encourages the model to create a noise-invariant latent representation. We employ a vanilla noise model at training time. For evaluation, we use both the original data and its variants perturbed with real OCR errors and misspellings. Extensive experiments on English and German named entity recognition benchmarks confirmed that NAT consistently improved robustness of popular sequence labeling models, preserving accuracy on the original input. We make our code and data publicly available for the research community.
While recent automatic speech recognition systems achieve remarkable performance when large amounts of adequate, high quality annotated speech data is used for training, the same systems often only achieve an unsatisfactory result for tasks in domains that greatly deviate from the conditions represented by the training data. For many real-world applications, there is a lack of sufficient data that can be directly used for training robust speech recognition systems. To address this issue, we propose and investigate an approach that performs a robust acoustic model adaption to a target domain in a cross-lingual, multi-staged manner. Our approach enables the exploitation of large-scale training data from other domains in both the same and other languages. We evaluate our approach using the challenging task of German oral history interviews, where we achieve a relative reduction of the word error rate by more than 30% compared to a model trained from scratch only on the target domain, and 6-7% relative compared to a model trained robustly on 1000 hours of same-language out-of-domain training data.