In everyday life, people listen to speech under a wide range of conditions that are “non-optimal” relative to the controlled conditions in laboratory experiments. Classical research methods can only deal with the effects of individual “adverse” conditions. This has contributed to the fragmentation of speech communication research in numerous sub-disciplines that have little interaction. While each type of adversity can have important consequences on its own, it is often the combination of conditions that conspire to create serious communication problems especially for elderly and hearing impaired persons.
The long-term objective of Investigating Speech Processing in Realistic Environments (INSPIRE) is creating a community of researchers who can exploit synergies between the sub-disciplines that investigate individual aspects of speech communication, resulting in a new curriculum: Real-world speech communication. We will develop novel research methods that take advantage of the massive amounts of experimental data that are becoming available and allow for the analysis of communication behaviours in real-world situations characterised by simultaneous presence of multiple “adverse” conditions. Computational models will be developed that allow to predict speech intelligibility for normal-hearing and hearing-impaired listeners under realistic conditions. INSPIRE will create a permanent collection of measurement data and tools that are accessible for external researchers for testing and comparing speech intelligibility models, thus enabling a breakthrough improvement in hearing instrument tuning.
INSPIRE will achieve its objectives by bringing together E(S)Rs with leading academic scientists from the core disciplines in speech communication, R&D personnel from leading companies in acoustics and hearing instruments and ENT specialists from hospitals that treat people with hearing impairments. All research projects in the network will address multiple “adverse” conditions.
Fields of science
Call for proposal
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