Frank Zhang(Facebook AI, USA), Yongqiang Wang(Facebook AI, USA), Xiaohui Zhang(Facebook AI, USA), Chunxi Liu(Facebook AI, USA), Yatharth Saraf(Facebook AI, USA) and Geoffrey Zweig(Facebook AI, USA)
In this work, we first show that on the widely used LibriSpeech benchmark, our transformer-based context-dependent connectionist temporal classification (CTC) system produces state-of-the-art results. We then show that using wordpieces as modeling units combined with CTC training, we can greatly simplify the engineering pipeline compared to conventional frame-based cross-entropy training by excluding all the GMM bootstrapping, decision tree building and force alignment steps, while still achieving very competitive word-error-rate. Additionally, using wordpieces as modeling units can significantly improve runtime efficiency since we can use larger stride without losing accuracy. We further confirm these findings on two internal VideoASR datasets: German, which is similar to English as a fusional language, and Turkish, which is an agglutinative language.