IBM Haifa Research Lab, IL (IBM)

IBM Haifa Research Lab, IL (IBM)

IBM is the largest IT company in the world. IBM is present in every European country. It is a major European employer, investor and tax-payer. About 90,000 people are employed by IBM in Europe. The coordination of IBM activities in Europe, Middle East and Africa is located in Paris (EMEA area). This area includes R&D centers, manufacturing plants and scientific centers. IBM fully supports European initiatives and participates in several European programs. IBM in particular has been involved in many European Projects in RACE, ACTS, ESPRIT programs, both as a technical contributor and a coordinator. The IBM Research Division employs about 3000 researchers in 8 labs around the world. IBM Haifa Research Lab (HRL) is the largest one outside the US. Since it first opened as the IBM Scientific Center in 1972, the IBM HRL has conducted decades of research that have been vital to IBM's success. The IBM HRL is uniquely positioned to handle the research challenges presented in the area of speech processing. HRL Speech Technologies group has developed research skills, built technological assets, and achieved accomplishments in numerous fields of audio and speech processing. These efforts have been driven in collaboration with the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center. Particularly relevant to the development of SMART speech processing are IBM's assets and research in the areas of automatic speech recognition, speaker diarization and identification, speech data retrieval and voice based emotion detection. This expertise stems from over 40 years of experience, 100 scientists in 6 research sites worldwide, more than 150 patents, and massive involvement in EU projects. Just some of HRL's achievements include the Speech data retrieval - 1st place at the 2007 NIST Contest on Spoken Terms Detection, ASR compatible speech coding - serve as a basis for the ETSI DSR Extended Front-end standards (EN 202 211/212), and Embedded TTS technology - part of the IBM Embedded ViaVoice product, deployed in the automotive market.

Role in the Project: As a world leader in speech research and technology, IBM contributes state-of-the-art and beyond technology development to SMART in the areas of speech acquisition, indexing and annotation of important speech events. Hence, IBM will be involved in WP3 leading all audio processing tasks, while it will also contribute in WP6 the integration of audio components within the proof-of-concept implementations. In addition it will contribute in WP2 to the specification and enforcement of the SMART architecture, based on its UIMA framework.

Dr. Hagai Aronowitz received the B.Sc. degree in Computer Science, Mathematics and Physics from the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel in 1994, and the M.Sc. degree, Summa Cum Laude and Ph.D. degree, both in Computer Science from Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan, Israel, in 2000 and 2006 respectively. In 2006-2007 he has been a postdoctoral fellow in the advanced LVCSR group in IBM T. J. Watson Research Center, Yorktown Heights, NY. He currently is working at IBM Haifa Research Lab. His research interests include machine learning, speaker identification, speaker diarization, voice activity detection and spoken language identification. Dr. Aronowitz is an author of numerous scientific publications.

Zvi Kons is a researcher in the Speech Technologies group at IBM Haifa Research Lab. His main interests are speech classification, speech synthesis and speech processing. Zvi received his B.A. and M.Sc. in Physics from the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel, in 1992 and 1999, respectively. Previous experience includes research and development in areas of signal processing, image processing and computer vision. He joined IBM at 2001 and for several years lead the IBM embedded Text-to-Speech project.

Dr. Orith Toledo-Ronen received her B.Sc. in Physics (Magna Cum Laude), from Tel Aviv University in 1990, the M.Sc. in Biomedical Engineering from the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, in 1992, and her Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Boston University in 1997. Her doctoral thesis focused on acoustic modeling for speech recognition. In 1997-1998 she worked in the speech group at SRI International in Menlo Park, California, followed by work on speaker recognition at Persay, a start-up company in Israel, and at Nuance Communications in Israel and Boston and is now with the IBM Haifa Research Lab. Her research interests are in the areas of pattern recognition, speech recognition, and speaker recognition.

The Research leading to these results has received funding from the European Community's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013)