Few-Shot Spoken Language Understanding via Joint Speech-Text Models

9 Oct 2023  ·  Chung-Ming Chien, Mingjiamei Zhang, Ju-chieh Chou, Karen Livescu ·

Recent work on speech representation models jointly pre-trained with text has demonstrated the potential of improving speech representations by encoding speech and text in a shared space. In this paper, we leverage such shared representations to address the persistent challenge of limited data availability in spoken language understanding tasks. By employing a pre-trained speech-text model, we find that models fine-tuned on text can be effectively transferred to speech testing data. With as little as 1 hour of labeled speech data, our proposed approach achieves comparable performance on spoken language understanding tasks (specifically, sentiment analysis and named entity recognition) when compared to previous methods using speech-only pre-trained models fine-tuned on 10 times more data. Beyond the proof-of-concept study, we also analyze the latent representations. We find that the bottom layers of speech-text models are largely task-agnostic and align speech and text representations into a shared space, while the top layers are more task-specific.

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