Monitoring Neurological Health Using Speech Analytics: Interpretable Algorithms and Information Limits

Speaker: Prof. Visar Berisha
Affiliation: Arizona State University

Abstract: The ability to share our thoughts and ideas through spoken communication is fragile. Even the simplest verbal response requires a complex sequence of events. It requires thinking of the words that best convey your message; sequencing these words appropriately; and then sending signals to the muscles required to produce speech. The slightest damage to the brain areas that orchestrate these events can manifest in speech and language problems. These disturbances offer a window into brain functioning. In the first part of the presentation, I will present an overview of several projects where we use interpretable measures of speech and language production as proxies for cognitive and motor health. The algorithms behind this work have practical utility in clinical applications and can help answer basic research questions related to dysarthric speech production.

In the second part of the talk, I will discuss new methods for bounding optimal performance in machine learning that that allow us to characterize the information limits in speech. In contrast to existing methods based on machine learning, this work provides a framework to answer fundamental questions such as “What are the bounds on how well I can recover a parameter of interest from on the speech signal?”

Biography:  Visar Berisha is an Assistant Professor at Arizona State University, with a joint appointment in the School of Electrical Computer and Energy Engineering and the Department of Speech and Hearing Science, and a Research Fellow in the Department of Neurology at Mayo Clinic. Prior to joining ASU, Prof. Berisha was a research scientist at MIT Lincoln Laboratory and then Principal Research Engineer at Raytheon. His main research interests include speech analytics for health applications, statistical signal processing, and information theory. This work has led to many academic publications, several licensed patents, and a startup company. Prof. Berisha’s work has been featured in the Science section of the New York Times, on ESPN, on National Public Radio, on ESPN, the Wall Street Journal, and a number of other national media outlets.

For more information, contact Prof. Abeer Alwan ()

Date(s) - Apr 25, 2018
2:00 pm - 3:30 pm

E-IV Maxwell Room #57-124
420 Westwood Plaza - 5th Flr. , Los Angeles CA 90095