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LINGUIST List 17.314

Mon Jan 30 2006

FYI: Blizzard Challenge 2006

Editor for this issue: Svetlana Aksenova <svetlanalinguistlist.org>

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        1.    Simon King, Blizzard Challenge 2006

Message 1: Blizzard Challenge 2006
Date: 30-Jan-2006
From: Simon King <Simon.Kinged.ac.uk>
Subject: Blizzard Challenge 2006

The Blizzard Challenge 2006
Evaluating corpus-based speech synthesis on common databases
Alan W Black, Keiichi Tokuda, Simon King,
Michael Picheny, and Toshio Hirai
February 1, 2006

In order to better understand and compare research techniques in
building corpus-based speech synthesizers on the same data, Blizzard
Challenge 2005 was held last year. We will now have the second
challenge as the Blizzard Challenge 2006.

The basic challenge is to take the released speech database, build a
synthetic voice from the data and synthesize a prescribed set of test
sentences. The sentences from each synthesizer will then be evaluated
through listening tests.

For the Blizzard Challenge 2006, ATR-SLC (http://www.slc.atr.jp/) will
release a newly-recorded five-hour American English speech database.
Unknown sentences from an independent source will be generated and
each participant will synthesize them with their system. The speech
will then be put on the web for evaluation.

The results will be presented at a satellite event at Interspeech 2006
-- ICSLP, in Pittsburgh PA. Participants will be expected to submit 4
page papers describing their entries for review. Accepted papers will
be presented at the workshop, and published on the Blizzard website.

Call for participation: http://festvox.org/blizzard/

The Blizzard Challenge: Registration

Interested parties should register their intentions to participate by
mailing blizzardfestvox.org. They should identify a contact person
in their team, as well as provide email and real mail addresses.

A registration fee of 500USD is due at time of submission (June 2) to
offset the costs of paying undergraduate listeners. There is a
mailing list for discussion and announcements for the challenge:


To join the list send a message to majordomofestvox.org with the
following line in the body of the message

subscribe blizzard-discuss

The Blizzard Challenge 2006: Tentative timeline

Feb 1 2006 Blizzard Challenge 2006 Announcement
Mar 17 2006 Participant registration deadline
Apr 7 2006 Deadline for agreement for the use of the corpus
Apr 17 2006 Database released
(one month for training)
May 29 2006 Test sentences released
(one week for synthesis)
Jun 2 2006 Deadline for the synthesized speech
(one week for preparation of the evaluation web site)
Jun 12 2006 Evaluation system goes live
(one month for evaluation)
Jul 14 2006 End of Evaluation
(two weeks for gathering the scores)
Jul 31 2006 Results distributed to teams
(two weeks for writing paper)
Aug 18 2006 Satellite workshop papers due
Sep 16 2006 Presentation of results at the satellite
workshop at Interspeech2006 in Pittsburgh

Further Information:

For further information please contact blizzardfestvox.org

Further description of the Challenge itself was published in
Interspeech 2005 Eurospeech in Lisbon:

Linguistic Field(s): Computational Linguistics

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