Time: 2pm-3pm, Friday, Dec 10, 2010 Place: Room 4102, CUNY Graduate Center, 365 Fifth Ave (34str&35str). Speaker: Fadi Biadsy (Columbia) Title: Accent and Dialect Recognition Abstract: Accent and dialect recognition have recently begun to receive attention from the speech science and technology communities. Dialect recognition helps in Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) since speakers with different dialects pronounce some words differently, consistently altering certain phones and even morphemes. In this talk, we will describe a system that can detect the regional dialect and native accent of the speaker given a sample of his/her speech. We will first describe and examine previously explored approaches employed in the language recognition community. We will introduce our novel approaches: Discriminative Phonotactics and Kernel-based methods which rely on the hypothesis that certain context-dependent phones are realized differently across dialects. Our system significantly outperforms previous approaches. The system we have built can also be used to extract linguistic knowledge, particularly subtle phonetic differences that contribute to distinguishing dialects. Speaker Bio: Fadi Biadsy is a PhD candidate in the computer science department at Columbia University, working with Prof. Julia Hirschberg. His research interest is spoken language processing and natural language processing. His dissertation work focuses on automatic spoken dialect and accent recognition and its application for automatic speech recognition. He has also explored various other topics, including charismatic speech, question answering, extraction of biographical information, sentiment analysis, and online handwriting recognition. Before arriving to Columbia, he received a BSc and MSc in computer science from Ben-Gurion University. He also worked as a software engineer at Dalet Digital Media Systems.