Published on Sat Jan 30 2021

Speech Recognition by Simply Fine-tuning BERT

Wen-Chin Huang, Chia-Hua Wu, Shang-Bao Luo, Kuan-Yu Chen, Hsin-Min Wang, Tomoki Toda

We propose a simple method for automatic speech recognition (ASR) by fine-tuning BERT. BERT is a language model (LM) trained on large-scale unlabeled text data. We show that stacking a very simple AM on top of BERT can yield reasonable performance.

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Abstract

We propose a simple method for automatic speech recognition (ASR) by fine-tuning BERT, which is a language model (LM) trained on large-scale unlabeled text data and can generate rich contextual representations. Our assumption is that given a history context sequence, a powerful LM can narrow the range of possible choices and the speech signal can be used as a simple clue. Hence, comparing to conventional ASR systems that train a powerful acoustic model (AM) from scratch, we believe that speech recognition is possible by simply fine-tuning a BERT model. As an initial study, we demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed idea on the AISHELL dataset and show that stacking a very simple AM on top of BERT can yield reasonable performance.