Bridging the prosody GAP: Genetic Algorithm with People to efficiently sample emotional prosody

10 May 2022  ·  Pol van Rijn, Harin Lee, Nori Jacoby ·

The human voice effectively communicates a range of emotions with nuanced variations in acoustics. Existing emotional speech corpora are limited in that they are either (a) highly curated to induce specific emotions with predefined categories that may not capture the full extent of emotional experiences, or (b) entangled in their semantic and prosodic cues, limiting the ability to study these cues separately. To overcome this challenge, we propose a new approach called 'Genetic Algorithm with People' (GAP), which integrates human decision and production into a genetic algorithm. In our design, we allow creators and raters to jointly optimize the emotional prosody over generations. We demonstrate that GAP can efficiently sample from the emotional speech space and capture a broad range of emotions, and show comparable results to state-of-the-art emotional speech corpora. GAP is language-independent and supports large crowd-sourcing, thus can support future large-scale cross-cultural research.

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