New opening for a postdoctoral position in the area of speech recognition and synthesis in Swiss languages

The Idiap Research Institute seeks qualified candidates for one post-doctoral position in the area of speech recognition and synthesis in Swiss languages.

In the context of a newly granted Swiss National Science Foundation sinergia project, Idiap will work with the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich and the universities of Geneva and Edinburgh on "Spoken Interaction with Interpretation in Switzerland". The project will combine speech recognition and synthesis with machine translation in the unique Swiss multilingual environment. This will enable us to advance the state of the art in each technology.

The research focus of the project at Idiap will be the integration of prosody into HMM based text to speech synthesis. The prosodic cues themselves will be provided by the University of Geneva via their machine translation technology, and by ETH using machine learning techniques. The integration of the cues into HMMs, however, is an open problem that the successful candidate will investigate.

Swiss communication is highly dependent upon region, both in a language sense and a dialect and accent sense. This regional aspect represents an intermediate level between language and speaker. The prosody models will render prosody at the language level in the hierarchy. The research will investigate how to adapt this language-specific prosody to be region- or speaker-specific.

As Idiap is the coordinating institute, the position also has an organisational focus. The candidate will be responsible for bringing together contributions from each of the four partners. For instance, a significant task in the first year will be data collection. Whilst the colection itself will be handled by the University of Geneva, the specification and distribution is a matter for all partners.

Applicants should have a PhD (or equivalent experience) in a subject relevant to the description above. Strong computer skills are also essential (including, to some extent, system management). Given the focus on Swiss languages, preference will be given to a native speaker of one or more of the main Swiss languages (German, French or Italian). The candidates should also demonstrate good communication and writing skills in English. The start date is expected to be around October 2012; the postion will remain open until filled.

More info about the position can be found on our "Idiap online recruitment system"