Domain adaptation with external off-policy acoustic catalogs for scalable contextual end-to-end automated speech recognition
Despite improvements to the generalization performance of automated speech recognition (ASR) models, specializing ASR models for downstream tasks remains a challenging task, primarily due to reduced data availability (necessitating increased data collection), and rapidly shifting data distributions (requiring more frequent model fine-tuning). In this work, we investigate the potential of leveraging external knowledge, particularly through off-policy generated text-to-speech keyvalue stores, to allow for flexible post-training adaptation to new data distributions. In our approach, audio embeddings captured from text-to-speech are used, along with semantic text embeddings, to bias ASR via an approximate k-nearest-neighbor (KNN) based attentive fusion step. Our experiments on LibiriSpeech and in-house voice assistant/search datasets show that the proposed approach can reduce domain adaptation time by up to 1K GPU-hours while providing up to 3% WER improvement compared to a fine-tuning baseline, suggesting a promising approach for adapting production ASR systems in challenging zero and few-shot scenarios.