Idiap has a new opening for a PhD position on Neural Architectures for Speech Technology

In the context of a new Swiss NSF grant, we seek a PhD student to work in the general area of neural architectures for speech technology.

The particular focus of this thesis will be on physiological models of speech prosody, and how such models can be integrated into deep learning solutions. The research will build on work done over the past few years at Idiap on creating tools for physiologically plausible modelling of speech. The current "toolbox" contains rudimentary muscle models and means to drive these using conventional (deep) neural networks. Whilst we have focused so far on prosody (actually intonation), the application is open ended; the main goal is to generalise neural modelling to more closely mimic biological systems. The group also tries to use rigorous Bayesian techniques where possible.

We expect the work will commence with use of spiking neural networks such as the "integrate and fire" type that is broadly representative of those found in biological systems. A key problem to be solved will be that of training such networks in the wider deep learning context, especially with recurrence. We hope to be able to train and use spiking networks as easily as conventional backpropagation networks, and to shed light on current understanding of how biological networks learn.

The ideal Ph.D student should have a master (or equivalent) degree in engineering, computer science, physics or applied mathematics. Graduates of neuroscience programs would also be well qualified. S/he should have a good background in mathematics, statistics, and programming (C/C++, Python, scripting languages). In order to balance the group, we especially encourage female applicants. However, all applications will be judged on merit. The student will be registered at EPFL and located at Idiap. The position is available from late 2019, fully funded for four years. Selection will commence immediately and continue until the position is filled.

Learn more about the requirements and the application process here: PhD position on Neural Architectures for Speech Technology