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Ontario Tech acknowledges the lands and people of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

Learn more about Indigenous Education and Cultural Services

March 31, 2010

Speaker: Dr. Gerald Penn, Chief Scientist Knowledge Media Design Institute, Associate Professor of Computer Science, University of Toronto

Title: Summarizing Speech

Abstract: Speech is arguably the most basic, most natural form of communication that we engage in, so it should come as no surprise that there has been a consistent pressure to deliver spoken audio content on web pages that, in principle, can be searched through. Even once the search problem is solved, however, the low-bandwidth, non-visual, traditional delivery of spoken audio makes it much more difficult to browse through. This makes the automated summarization of speech particularly attractive: given a number N, prepare a summary of a spoken "document" that contains the most important or salient content that is N seconds long, or N utterances long, or N percent of the original document's length.

This talk will present a (human-prepared) summary of our research on summarizing speech. We'll talk about how speech summarization is usually evaluated, including some of the appropriate baselines in this area, the dependence of genre on the performance and tuning of summarizers, the role of automated speech transcription in summarization, and the usefulness of some of the acoustic, untranscribed features of the speech signal.

Biography: Gerald Penn is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at the University of Toronto. He received his PhD in 2000 from the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University. From 1998 to 2001, he worked in the Multimedia Communications Research Laboratory at Bell Labs in the United States. His other research interests include mathematical linguistics, parsing in freer word-order languages, spoken language processing and programming language theory.