Implicit Acoustic Echo Cancellation for Keyword Spotting and Device-Directed Speech Detection

20 Nov 2021  ·  Samuele Cornell, Thomas Balestri, Thibaud Sénéchal ·

In many speech-enabled human-machine interaction scenarios, user speech can overlap with the device playback audio. In these instances, the performance of tasks such as keyword-spotting (KWS) and device-directed speech detection (DDD) can degrade significantly. To address this problem, we propose an implicit acoustic echo cancellation (iAEC) framework where a neural network is trained to exploit the additional information from a reference microphone channel to learn to ignore the interfering signal and improve detection performance. We study this framework for the tasks of KWS and DDD on, respectively, an augmented version of Google Speech Commands v2 and a real-world Alexa device dataset. Notably, we show a 56% reduction in false-reject rate for the DDD task during device playback conditions. We also show comparable or superior performance over a strong end-to-end neural echo cancellation + KWS baseline for the KWS task with an order of magnitude less computational requirements.

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