Generative Spoken Language Modeling from Raw Audio

Kushal Lakhotia, Evgeny Kharitonov, Wei-Ning Hsu, Yossi Adi, Adam Polyak, Benjamin Bolte, Tu-Anh Nguyen, Jade Copet, Alexei Baevski, Adelrahman Mohamed, Emmanuel Dupoux

Generative spoken language modeling involves learning jointly the acoustic and linguistic characteristics of a language from raw audio only (without text or labels). We introduce metrics to automatically evaluate the generated output in terms of acoustic and linguistic quality in two associated end-to-end tasks, respectively: speech resynthesis (repeating the speech input using the system's own voice), and speech generation (producing novel speech outputs conditional on a spoken prompt, or unconditionally), and validate these metrics with human judgment. We test baseline systems consisting of a discrete speech encoder (returning discrete, low bitrate, pseudo-text units), a generative language model (trained on pseudo-text units), and a speech decoder (generating a waveform from pseudo-text). By comparing three state-of-the-art unsupervised speech encoders (Contrastive Predictive Coding (CPC), wav2vec 2.0, HuBERT), and varying the number of discrete units (50, 100, 200), we investigate how the generative performance depends on the quality of the learned units as measured by unsupervised metrics (zero-shot probe tasks). We will open source our evaluation stack and baseline models.

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