NEWS

BEYOND WORDS: HARNESSING SPEECH SOUND FOR SPEAKER AGE AND GENDER DETECTION USING 1D CNN ARCHITECTURE WITH SELF-ATTENTION MECHANISM


(Received: 22-Dec.-2023, Revised: 9-Mar.-2024 , Accepted: 20-Mar.-2024)
Beyond the immediate content of speech, the voice can provide rich information about a speaker's demographics, including age and gender. Estimating a speaker's age and gender offers a wide range of applications, spanning from voice forensic analysis to personalized advertising, healthcare monitoring and human-computer interaction. However, pinpointing precise age remains intricate due to age ambiguity. Specifically, utterances from individuals at adjacent ages are frequently indistinguishable. Addressing this, we propose a novel, end-to-end approach that deploys Mozilla's Common Voice dataset to transform raw audio into high-quality feature representations using Wav2Vec2.0 embeddings. These are then channeled into our self-attention-based convolutional neural network (CNN) model. To address age ambiguity, we evaluate the effects of different loss functions such as focal loss and Kullback-Leibler (KL) divergence loss. Additionally, we evaluate the estimation accuracy at different speech durations. Experimental results from the Common Voice dataset underscore the efficacy of our approach, showcasing an accuracy of 87% for male speakers, 91% for female speakers and 89% overall accuracy, as well as an accuracy of 99.1% for gender prediction.

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