Project

PLan-V: A Speech & Language Therapy Platform with Virtual Agent

Goal: The proposed project, "A Speech and language Therapy Platform with Virtual Agent" (PLan-V), aims at developing an integrated, technologically assisted, speech/language intervention platform for people with chronic neurogenic communication disorders. Acquired speech and language disorders are increasingly relevant for a significant percentage of the population, given the current aging rate, and they have a direct and severe effect on quality of life because they limit daily communication. The effective support of this population requires individualized, systematic and regular intervention by speech/language therapists. Treatment outcomes are directly and positively correlated with the quality and frequency of clinical services.
The project aims at developing a novel system that can support the self-management of chronic patients with speech and language impairment. It will allow patients to practice wherever and whenever they wish, without the physical presence of a clinician, via the assistance of a digital character/virtual speech and language therapist (Avatar). At the same time, the proposed platform will constitute a valuable clinical tool that will assist clinicians with the time consuming process of routine patient assessment and evaluation, and the development and execution of individualized intervention programs that will complement face-to-face clinical sessions.

Date: 27 July 2020 - 26 July 2023

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Project log

Athanasia-Lida Dimou
added a research item
Aphasia is a common speech and language disorder, typically caused by a brain injury or a stroke, that affects millions of people worldwide. Detecting and assessing Aphasia in patients is a difficult, time-consuming process, and numerous attempts to automate it have been made, the most successful using machine learning models trained on aphasic speech data. Like in many medical applications, aphasic speech data is scarce and the problem is exacerbated in so-called "low resource" languages, which are, for this task, most languages excluding English. We attempt to leverage available data in English and achieve zero-shot aphasia detection in low-resource languages such as Greek and French, by using language-agnostic linguistic features. Current cross-lingual aphasia detection approaches rely on manually extracted transcripts. We propose an end-to-end pipeline using pre-trained Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) models that share cross-lingual speech representations and are fine-tuned for our desired low-resource languages. To further boost our ASR model's performance, we also combine it with a language model. We show that our ASR-based end-to-end pipeline offers comparable results to previous setups using human-annotated transcripts.
Arhonto Terzi
added a project goal
The proposed project, "A Speech and language Therapy Platform with Virtual Agent" (PLan-V), aims at developing an integrated, technologically assisted, speech/language intervention platform for people with chronic neurogenic communication disorders. Acquired speech and language disorders are increasingly relevant for a significant percentage of the population, given the current aging rate, and they have a direct and severe effect on quality of life because they limit daily communication. The effective support of this population requires individualized, systematic and regular intervention by speech/language therapists. Treatment outcomes are directly and positively correlated with the quality and frequency of clinical services.
The project aims at developing a novel system that can support the self-management of chronic patients with speech and language impairment. It will allow patients to practice wherever and whenever they wish, without the physical presence of a clinician, via the assistance of a digital character/virtual speech and language therapist (Avatar). At the same time, the proposed platform will constitute a valuable clinical tool that will assist clinicians with the time consuming process of routine patient assessment and evaluation, and the development and execution of individualized intervention programs that will complement face-to-face clinical sessions.