Language and Speech Laboratory

Crowdsourcing for word recognition in noise

Martin Cooke, Jon Barker, Mª Luisa García Lecumberri, Krzysztof Wasilewski.

Interspeech in Florence

Access to large samples of listeners is an appealing prospect for speech perception researchers, but lack of control over key factors such as listeners' linguistic backgrounds and quality of stimulus delivery is a formidable barrier to the application of crowdsourcing. We describe the outcome of a web-based listening experiment designed to discover consistent confusions amongst words presented in noise, alongside an identical task carried out using traditional laboratory methods. Web listeners were graded according based on information they provided as well as via their responses to tokens recognised robustly by a majority of participants. While overall word identification scores even for the best-performing web subset were well below those obtained in the laboratory, word confusions with high levels of cross-listener agreement were obtained nevertheless, suggesting that focused application of crowdsourcing in speech perception can provide useful data for scientific analysis.