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Research Opportunities: Speech Recognition Technology / Speech Therapy

                   --- Apologies for multiple postings ---

             Postdoctoral or Postgraduate Research Opportunities


This project is to be funded by the UK National Health Service NEAT programme
(New and Emerging Applications of Technology). It will be located jointly in the
Speech and Hearing Research Group, Department of Computer Science, University of
Sheffield, UK and in Barnsley District General Hospital. It will start in June
2000 or before and run for 36 months. It will employ

* A Computer Scientist, preferably with experience in Speech Technology,
* A Speech Therapist part-time

These appointments may be at postgraduate or postdoctoral level. A  postgraduate
appointee will have the opportunity to study for a Ph.D. Salaries  will be on UK
Research Assistant or Clinical Scales, as appropriate. More details on request.

STARDUST stands for Speech Training And Recognition for Dysarthic
USer-controlled assistive Technology. Dysarthia is a common speech disorder
which, in its severest form, results  in unintelligible speech.  This disorder
is often associated with other  general neuromotor disabilities. People with
these disabilities may have  difficulty in making themselves understood as well
as in reliably controlling  environmental and communication aids.

This project will apply state-of-the-art  Speech Technology research to the
recognition of severely dysarthric speech.  Off-the-shelf automatic speech
recognition systems function poorly for  these users because of the increased
variability of their articulations  compared to normal speech and the difficulty
of finding suitable corpora for  training the recogniser. To overcome these
problems we will develop a software  application which integrates three

a) Real-time audio-visual feedback to train dysarthric speakers to improve the
consistency of their vocalisations.
b) Speech recognition capability with improved tolerance to speech  variability.
c) The ability to tailor the package to the needs of the client: to  modify the
feedback as training proceeds and to construct new recognisers  incrementally as
data is collected.

The speech recognition software application will then be deployed to control
electronic assistive technology, either a communication aid or an  environmental
control system.

STARDUST will therefore provide an accurate small-vocabulary recogniser for
disordered speech, thus contributing to the independence of a group of people
with severe disabilities.

If you are interested, send your CV and the names of two referees to Phil Green
(address below), preferably by e-mail. Indicate what you feel you would  bring
to the project and when you might be available.

For more information, please contact either Phil Green,
Dr. Mark Hawley (Tel: +44 (0) 1226 777726 mark.hawley@bdgh-tr.trent.nhs.uk)
or Prof. Pam Enderby (Tel: +44 (0) 114 271 5916 p.m.enderby@shef.ac.uk

Professor Phil Green
Speech and Hearing Research Group
Department of Computer Science
University of Sheffield
Regent Court
211 Portobello St.,
Sheffield S1 4DP

phone: (44) 114 22 21828
fax:   (44) 114 22 21810
email: p.green@dcs.shef.ac.uk
www:  http://www.dcs.shef.ac.uk/people/P.Green/