Invited Speaker: Jerneja Žganec Gros

Prof. Jerneja Žganec Gros, PhD
Alpineon Ltd, Ljubljana, Slovenia



Title of the invited lecture: Speech synthesis in language digitisation: the Slovenian use case

In an attempt to increase user experience when using digital products and services, it is crucial to improve the interaction with smart devices using multimodal user interfaces. Speech represents one of the most natural ways of interaction. In order to successfully develop and use speech-enabled user interfaces, effective and high-quality components of the speech dialogue system need to be provided: accurate automatic speech recognition and high-quality, intelligible, and natural-sounding speech synthesis. Here we quickly encounter a constantly widening gap between technologically “supported” and “unsupported” languages; that is, between languages ​​where users can use advanced speech and language technology solutions and those that are more or less “useless” for these purposes.  The role of speech technologies in digitisation of language technology products and services will be presented and demonstrated for the Slovenian use case, along with relevant ethical aspects.

Short CV: Dr Jerneja Žganec Gros is CEO at Alpineon, a Slovenian RTD-performing SME specializing in developing state-of-the-art AI products in computer vision and speech-technologies. She obtained her PhD degree in electrical engineering from the University of Ljubljana. She has coordinated multiple international and national innovative projects. She is recipient of the Slovenian Award for Technical Innovations for Disabled Persons and the Award for Outstanding Research Achievements by the Slovenian Research Agency. She was a member of the winning team of both the ICB face recognition challenge and at the ICB speaker recognition challenge.  She has received the Slovenian Ambassador of Privacy award for best practices in privacy protection and the golden innovation awards from the Slovenian Chamber of Commerce in 2017 and in 2020. She authored one book, co-authored seven patents and more than 200 technical and scientific articles.