Purpose

Do you have an algorithm for the modification of natural or synthetic speech which improves intelligibility in known noise and room conditions? If so, you are invited to take part in the Hurricane Challenge 2.0, a coordinated international evaluation of the intelligibility of modified speech.

Following up on the first Hurricane Challenge presented at Interspeech 2013, Hurricane 2.0 will focus on more realistic background noises, reverberant rooms and – of course – your recent advances in speech enhancement.

You will be provided with a corpus of recorded sentences in three languages (German, English, Spanish) along with separate noise signals at a number of signal-to-noise ratios and room impulse responses. Your task is to modify the speech only in such a way to promote its intelligibility. Modifications will be expected to meet constraints on changes in RMS level as well as durational constraints. Modified speech signals will be evaluated centrally by large native listener samples in each of the three languages.

Results of the Challenge will be disseminated either at a Special Session of Interspeech 2020 or at a satellite workshop. Results will be returned to participants well before the Interspeech 2020 paper deadline.

If you intent to take part, it is essential that you express your interest by sending an email to hurricane2.0@idmt.fraunhofer.de before 31st October 2019 so that we can plan the scale of the listening tests accordingly. After that registration is still possible until 30th November 2019. We need to know: your team name, the type of entry you wish to submit (natural speech or text-to-speech), the name of the main contact person, your affiliation, and your contact details (email address). We will then send you details about how to obtain the data and submit your processed files.

(*) The name Hurricane was suggested as a logical extension to even-more-adverse conditions of the annual Blizzard Challenge for the evaluation of synthetic speech.