Yash Sharma(Indian Institute of Technology Bombay), Basil Abraham(Microsoft), Karan Taneja(IIT Bombay) and Preethi Jyothi(Indian Institute of Technology Bombay)
Building Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) systems for code-switched speech has recently gained renewed attention due to the widespread use of speech technologies in multilingual communities worldwide. End-to-end ASR systems are a natural modeling choice due to their ease of use and superior performance in monolingual settings. However, it is well-known that end-to-end systems require large amounts of labeled speech. In this work, we investigate improving code-switched ASR in low resource settings via data augmentation using code-switched text-to-speech (TTS) synthesis. We propose two targeted techniques to effectively leverage TTS speech samples: 1) Mixup, an existing technique to create new training samples via linear interpolation of existing samples, applied to TTS and real speech samples, and 2) a new loss function, used in conjunction with TTS samples, to encourage code-switched predictions. We report significant improvements in ASR performance achieving absolute word error rate (WER) reductions of up to 5%, and measurable improvement in code switching using our proposed techniques on a Hindi-English code-switched ASR task.