Press Release

Day: 13 September 2018

From the Basque Country to Brno. Mireia Diez Sánchez came to BUT to teach computers to understand human speech


She arrived at Brno couple of years ago and she liked her traineeship at the Faculty of Information Technology of BUT so much she decided to come back. Currently, Mireia Diez Sánchez works for Speech@FIT - one of the most important research groups in the area of data mining from speech in the world in the framework of the Marie Curie grant.

Imagine if your computer could recognise the voices of different people for you. Instead of spending hours going through recordings of lectures, meetings, negotiations or television programmes, it could immediately find just the speaker you were looking for.

Mireia Diez Sánchez works on a similar task in Brno as a part of the SPEAKER DICE project. The project is dealing with automatic recognition of "who is speaking and when". What seems to be an easy task for humans is now being taught to computers. And it is not always simple. "Speaker diarisation is a demanding task. Especially if there are multiple speakers in the audio recording and we do not know their exact number. They are often speaking simultaneously or, for example, in different order," explained Mireia. At the Faculty of Information Technology, they solve similar tasks using advanced statistical methods and deep neural networks.

Mireia started working with speech-related technology during her studies at a university in the Basque Country. She has visited Brno numerous times during her studies and the work performed by the Speech@FIT research group excited her so much that she decided to return to Brno after finishing her doctoral studies. Two and a half years ago, the Marie Curie grant intended for young talented researchers helped her along the way.

In the past, the only thing she associated with Brno was the Grand Prix but now, she can find her way around the city, she likes local beer and she even speaks Czech. "But I still make many mistakes," said young researcher. "I am fluent in Spanish, Basque and English. People say that learning fourth foreign language is easy. However, it is not easy when said language is from a fourth language family, of if it is Czech," she laughed.

She admits she is not fond of the long Czech winter and the fact that she is so far away from her family and friends. "Brno is a beautiful city, it's a friendly place with pleasant atmosphere. The public transport system is good, the food is great and it offers many opportunities to travel. I guess I'm going to stay here for longer than I planned," she added, smiling.

Author: Lampa Petr, Ing.

Last modified: 2020-06-26T15:06:19

Back to press releases

Back to top