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Artificial intelligence: short history, present developments, and future outlook, final report

Summary

The Director's Office at MIT Lincoln Laboratory (MIT LL) requested a comprehensive study on artificial intelligence (AI) focusing on present applications and future science and technology (S&T) opportunities in the Cyber Security and Information Sciences Division (Division 5). This report elaborates on the main results from the study. Since the AI field is evolving so rapidly, the study scope was to look at the recent past and ongoing developments to lead to a set of findings and recommendations. It was important to begin with a short AI history and a lay-of-the-land on representative developments across the Department of Defense (DoD), intelligence communities (IC), and Homeland Security. These areas are addressed in more detail within the report. A main deliverable from the study was to formulate an end-to-end AI canonical architecture that was suitable for a range of applications. The AI canonical architecture, formulated in the study, serves as the guiding framework for all the sections in this report. Even though the study primarily focused on cyber security and information sciences, the enabling technologies are broadly applicable to many other areas. Therefore, we dedicate a full section on enabling technologies in Section 3. The discussion on enabling technologies helps the reader clarify the distinction among AI, machine learning algorithms, and specific techniques to make an end-to-end AI system viable. In order to understand what is the lay-of-the-land in AI, study participants performed a fairly wide reach within MIT LL and external to the Laboratory (government, commercial companies, defense industrial base, peers, academia, and AI centers). In addition to the study participants (shown in the next section under acknowledgements), we also assembled an internal review team (IRT). The IRT was extremely helpful in providing feedback and in helping with the formulation of the study briefings, as we transitioned from datagathering mode to the study synthesis. The format followed throughout the study was to highlight relevant content that substantiates the study findings, and identify a set of recommendations. An important finding is the significant AI investment by the so-called "big 6" commercial companies. These major commercial companies are Google, Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, and IBM. They dominate in the AI ecosystem research and development (R&D) investments within the U.S. According to a recent McKinsey Global Institute report, cumulative R&D investment in AI amounts to about $30 billion per year. This amount is substantially higher than the R&D investment within the DoD, IC, and Homeland Security. Therefore, the DoD will need to be very strategic about investing where needed, while at the same time leveraging the technologies already developed and available from a wide range of commercial applications. As we will discuss in Section 1 as part of the AI history, MIT LL has been instrumental in developing advanced AI capabilities. For example, MIT LL has a long history in the development of human language technologies (HLT) by successfully applying machine learning algorithms to difficult problems in speech recognition, machine translation, and speech understanding. Section 4 elaborates on prior applications of these technologies, as well as newer applications in the context of multi-modalities (e.g., speech, text, images, and video). An end-to-end AI system is very well suited to enhancing the capabilities of human language analysis. Section 5 discusses AI's nascent role in cyber security. There have been cases where AI has already provided important benefits. However, much more research is needed in both the application of AI to cyber security and the associated vulnerability to the so-called adversarial AI. Adversarial AI is an area very critical to the DoD, IC, and Homeland Security, where malicious adversaries can disrupt AI systems and make them untrusted in operational environments. This report concludes with specific recommendations by formulating the way forward for Division 5 and a discussion of S&T challenges and opportunities. The S&T challenges and opportunities are centered on the key elements of the AI canonical architecture to strengthen the AI capabilities across the DoD, IC, and Homeland Security in support of national security.
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Summary

The Director's Office at MIT Lincoln Laboratory (MIT LL) requested a comprehensive study on artificial intelligence (AI) focusing on present applications and future science and technology (S&T) opportunities in the Cyber Security and Information Sciences Division (Division 5). This report elaborates on the main results from the study. Since the...

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Relating estimated cyclic spectral peak frequency to measured epilarynx length using magnetic resonance imaging

Published in:
INTERSPEECH 2016: 16th Annual Conf. of the Int. Speech Communication Assoc., 8-12 September 2016.

Summary

The epilarynx plays an important role in speech production, carrying information about the individual speaker and manner of articulation. However, precise acoustic behavior of this lower vocal tract structure is difficult to establish. Focusing on acoustics observable in natural speech, recent spectral processing techniques isolate a unique resonance with characteristics of the epilarynx previously shown via simulation, specifically cyclicity (i.e. energy differences between the closed and open phases of the glottal cycle) in a 3-5kHz region observed across vowels. Using Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), the present work relates this estimated cyclic peak frequency to measured epilarynx length. Assuming a simple quarter wavelength relationship, the cavity length estimated from the cyclic peak frequency is shown to be directly proportional (linear fit slope =1.1) and highly correlated (p = 0.85, pval<10^?4) to the measured epilarynx length across speakers. Results are discussed, as are implications in speech science and application domains.
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Summary

The epilarynx plays an important role in speech production, carrying information about the individual speaker and manner of articulation. However, precise acoustic behavior of this lower vocal tract structure is difficult to establish. Focusing on acoustics observable in natural speech, recent spectral processing techniques isolate a unique resonance with characteristics...

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Analysis of factors affecting system performance in the ASpIRE challenge

Published in:
2015 IEEE Automatic Speech Recognition and Understanding Workshop, ASRU 2015, 13-17 December 2015.

Summary

This paper presents an analysis of factors affecting system performance in the ASpIRE (Automatic Speech recognition In Reverberant Environments) challenge. In particular, overall word error rate (WER) of the solver systems is analyzed as a function of room, distance between talker and microphone, and microphone type. We also analyze speech activity detection performance of the solver systems and investigate its relationship to WER. The primary goal of the paper is to provide insight into the factors affecting system performance in the ASpIRE evaluation set across many systems given annotations and metadata that are not available to the solvers. This analysis will inform the design of future challenges and provide insight into the efficacy of current solutions addressing noisy reverberant speech in mismatched conditions.
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Summary

This paper presents an analysis of factors affecting system performance in the ASpIRE (Automatic Speech recognition In Reverberant Environments) challenge. In particular, overall word error rate (WER) of the solver systems is analyzed as a function of room, distance between talker and microphone, and microphone type. We also analyze speech...

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Estimating lower vocal tract features with closed-open phase spectral analyses

Published in:
INTERSPEECH 2015: 15th Annual Conf. of the Int. Speech Communication Assoc., 6-10 September 2015.

Summary

Previous studies have shown that, in addition to being speaker-dependent yet context-independent, lower vocal tract acoustics significantly impact the speech spectrum at mid-to-high frequencies (e.g 3-6kHz). The present work automatically estimates spectral features that exhibit acoustic properties of the lower vocal tract. Specifically aiming to capture the cyclicity property of the epilarynx tube, a novel multi-resolution approach to spectral analyses is presented that exploits significant differences between the closed and open phases of a glottal cycle. A prominent null linked to the piriform fossa is also estimated. Examples of the feature estimation on natural speech of the VOICES multi-speaker corpus illustrate that a salient spectral pattern indeed emerges between 3-6kHz across all speakers. Moreover, the observed pattern is consistent with that canonically shown for the lower vocal tract in previous works. Additionally, an instance of a speaker's formant (i.e. spectral peak around 3kHz that has been well-established as a characteristic of voice projection) is quantified here for the VOICES template speaker in relation to epilarynx acoustics. The corresponding peak is shown to be double the power on average compared to the other speakers (20 vs 10 dB).
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Summary

Previous studies have shown that, in addition to being speaker-dependent yet context-independent, lower vocal tract acoustics significantly impact the speech spectrum at mid-to-high frequencies (e.g 3-6kHz). The present work automatically estimates spectral features that exhibit acoustic properties of the lower vocal tract. Specifically aiming to capture the cyclicity property of...

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Speech enhancement using sparse convolutive non-negative matrix factorization with basis adaptation

Published in:
INTERSPEECH 2012: 13th Annual Conf. of the Int. Speech Communication Assoc., 9-13 September 2012.

Summary

We introduce a framework for speech enhancement based on convolutive non-negative matrix factorization that leverages available speech data to enhance arbitrary noisy utterances with no a priori knowledge of the speakers or noise types present. Previous approaches have shown the utility of a sparse reconstruction of the speech-only components of an observed noisy utterance. We demonstrate that an underlying speech representation which, in addition to applying sparsity, also adapts to the noisy acoustics improves overall enhancement quality. The proposed system performs comparably to a traditional Wiener filtering approach, and the results suggest that the proposed framework is most useful in moderate- to low-SNR scenarios.
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Summary

We introduce a framework for speech enhancement based on convolutive non-negative matrix factorization that leverages available speech data to enhance arbitrary noisy utterances with no a priori knowledge of the speakers or noise types present. Previous approaches have shown the utility of a sparse reconstruction of the speech-only components of...

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Vocal-source biomarkers for depression - a link to psychomotor activity

Published in:
INTERSPEECH 2012: 13th Annual Conf. of the Int. Speech Communication Assoc., 9-13 September 2012.

Summary

A hypothesis in characterizing human depression is that change in the brain's basal ganglia results in a decline of motor coordination. Such a neuro-physiological change may therefore affect laryngeal control and dynamics. Under this hypothesis, toward the goal of objective monitoring of depression severity, we investigate vocal-source biomarkers for depression; specifically, source features that may relate to precision in motor control, including vocal-fold shimmer and jitter, degree of aspiration, fundamental frequency dynamics, and frequency-dependence of variability and velocity of energy. We use a 35-subject database collected by Mundt et al. in which subjects were treated over a six-week period, and investigate correlation of our features with clinical (HAMD), as well as self-reported (QIDS) Total subject assessment scores. To explicitly address the motor aspect of depression, we compute correlations with the Psychomotor Retardation component of clinical and self-reported Total assessments. For our longitudinal database, most correlations point to statistical relationships of our vocal-source biomarkers with psychomotor activity, as well as with depression severity.
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Summary

A hypothesis in characterizing human depression is that change in the brain's basal ganglia results in a decline of motor coordination. Such a neuro-physiological change may therefore affect laryngeal control and dynamics. Under this hypothesis, toward the goal of objective monitoring of depression severity, we investigate vocal-source biomarkers for depression...

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Automatic detection of depression in speech using Gaussian mixture modeling with factor analysis

Summary

Of increasing importance in the civilian and military population is the recognition of Major Depressive Disorder at its earliest stages and intervention before the onset of severe symptoms. Toward the goal of more effective monitoring of depression severity, we investigate automatic classifiers of depression state, that have the important property of mitigating nuisances due to data variability, such as speaker and channel effects, unrelated to levels of depression. To assess our measures, we use a 35-speaker free-response speech database of subjects treated for depression over a six-week duration, along with standard clinical HAMD depression ratings. Preliminary experiments indicate that by mitigating nuisances, thus focusing on depression severity as a class, we can significantly improve classification accuracy over baseline Gaussian-mixture-model-based classifiers.
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Summary

Of increasing importance in the civilian and military population is the recognition of Major Depressive Disorder at its earliest stages and intervention before the onset of severe symptoms. Toward the goal of more effective monitoring of depression severity, we investigate automatic classifiers of depression state, that have the important property...

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Sinewave representations of nonmodality

Published in:
Proc. 2011 INTERSPEECH, 27-31 August 2011, pp. 69-72.

Summary

Regions of nonmodal phonation, exhibiting deviations from uniform glottal-pulse periods and amplitudes, occur often and convey information about speaker- and linguistic-dependent factors. Such waveforms pose challenges for speech modeling, analysis/synthesis, and processing. In this paper, we investigate the representation of nonmodal pulse trains as a sum of harmonically-related sinewaves with time-varying amplitudes, phases, and frequencies. We show that a sinewave representation of any impulsive signal is not unique and also the converse, i.e., frame-based measurements of the underlying sinewave representation can yield different impulse trains. Finally, we argue how this ambiguity may explain addition, deletion, and movement of pulses in sinewave synthesis and a specific illustrative example of time-scale modification of a nonmodal case of diplophonia.
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Summary

Regions of nonmodal phonation, exhibiting deviations from uniform glottal-pulse periods and amplitudes, occur often and convey information about speaker- and linguistic-dependent factors. Such waveforms pose challenges for speech modeling, analysis/synthesis, and processing. In this paper, we investigate the representation of nonmodal pulse trains as a sum of harmonically-related sinewaves with...

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Phonologically-based biomarkers for major depressive disorder

Published in:
EURASIP J. Adv. Sig. Proc., 16 August 2011, article 42.

Summary

Of increasing importance in the civilian and military population is the recognition of major depressive disorder at its earliest stages and intervention before the onset of severe symptoms. Toward the goal of more effective monitoring of depression severity, we introduce vocal biomarkers that are derived automatically from phonologically-based measures of speech rate. To assess our measures, we use a 35-speaker free-response speech database of subjects treated for depression over a 6-week duration. We find that dissecting average measures of speech rate into phone-specific characteristics and, in particular, combined phone-duration measures uncovers stronger relationships between speech rate and depression severity than global measures previously reported for a speech-rate biomarker. Results of this study are supported by correlation of our measures with depression severity and classification of depression state with these vocal measures. Our approach provides a general framework for analyzing individual symptom categories through phonological units, and supports the premise that speaking rate can be an indicator of psychomotor retardation severity.
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Summary

Of increasing importance in the civilian and military population is the recognition of major depressive disorder at its earliest stages and intervention before the onset of severe symptoms. Toward the goal of more effective monitoring of depression severity, we introduce vocal biomarkers that are derived automatically from phonologically-based measures of...

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A time-warping framework for speech turbulence-noise component estimation during aperiodic phonation

Published in:
Proc. IEEE Int. Conf. on Acoustics, Speech, and Signal Processing, ICASSP, 22-27 May 2011, pp. 5404-5407.

Summary

The accurate estimation of turbulence noise affects many areas of speech processing including separate modification of the noise component, analysis of degree of speech aspiration for treating pathological voice, the automatic labeling of speech voicing, as well as speaker characterization and recognition. Previous work in the literature has provided methods by which such a high-quality noise component may be estimated in near-periodic speech, but it is known that these methods tend to leak aperiodic phonation (with even slight deviations from periodicity) into the noise-component estimate. In this paper, we improve upon existing algorithms in conditions of aperiodicity by introducing a time-warping based approach to speech noise-component estimation, demonstrating the results on both natural and synthetic speech examples.
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Summary

The accurate estimation of turbulence noise affects many areas of speech processing including separate modification of the noise component, analysis of degree of speech aspiration for treating pathological voice, the automatic labeling of speech voicing, as well as speaker characterization and recognition. Previous work in the literature has provided methods...

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