Featured presentations

Professor Mark Plumbley (University of Surrey, UK): AI for Sound: A Future Technology for Sound Archives

Imagine you are standing on a street corner in a city. Close your eyes: what do you hear? Perhaps some cars and busses driving on the road, footsteps of people on the pavement, beeps from a pedestrian crossing, rustling and clonks from shopping bags and boxes, and the hubbub of talking shoppers. You can do the same in a kitchen as someone is making breakfast, or as you are travelling in a vehicle. Now, following the success of AI and machine learning technologies for speech and image recognition, we are beginning to build computer systems to tackle this challenging task: to automatically recognize real-world sound scenes and events. In this talk, we will explore some of the work going on in this rapidly expanding research area, and touch on some of the key issues for the future, including ensuring privacy around sound sensors. We will discuss some of the potential applications emerging for sound recognition, from home security and assisted living to exploring sound archives. We will close with some pointers to more information about this exciting future technology.

Mark Plumbley is Professor of Signal Processing at the Centre for Vision, Speech and Signal Processing (CVSSP) at the University of Surrey, in Guildford, UK. He is an expert on analysis and processing of audio and music, using a wide range of signal processing and machine learning methods. He led the first international data challenge on Detection and Classification of Acoustic Scenes and Events (DCASE 2013), and hosted the DCASE 2018 Workshop in Woking, Surrey. He currently leads the EPSRC-funded project "Making Sense of Sounds" on automatic recognition of everyday sounds, and he is a co-editor of the recent book on "Computational Analysis of Sound Scenes and Events" (Springer, 2018).

Professor Plumbley will deliver the keynote talk "AI for Sound: A Future Technology for Sound Archives" on Monday, September 30th, 09:30 - 10:30

Rebecca Holte (New York Public Library, USA): Lossless compression and other stories from the NYPL audio and moving image initiative

Following a Mellon Foundation funded audio and moving image (AMI) collections survey, the New York Public Library established the AMI Initiative to preserve more than a quarter-million recordings identified as at risk or mission critical. The Library’s Audio and Moving Image Preservation program has had to rapidly evolve to meet the expectations of preserving more items per year than it had in its first decade of digitization. Staff skills, workflows, and specifications have transformed to better respond to resource constraints and program sustainability, with increased use of scripting, open source tools, and notably, lossless compression for all digitized AMI formats. Meanwhile, additional services are being tested and implemented while repository expansion is underway. Examples include new mechanisms for staff access as media is queued for ingest, and web accessibility improvements such as viewer features, transcripts, captioning, etc. With more than 180,000 recordings digitized by the end of 2019, along with the infrastructure improvements underway, the Library continues to meet major benchmarks in its goals for the audio and moving image collections. This presentation will discuss lessons learned, current work, and plans for continued progress.

Rebecca Holte manages the Audio and Moving Image (AMI) Preservation Program at the New York Public Library, and has held various roles in the Library’s Preservation Division since 2010. Rebecca directed AMI program expansion to meet the goals of the Library’s AMI Initiative, which aims to preserve more than a quarter million at-risk, rare/unique, or mission-critical recordings. Rebecca’s collections experience also includes book and paper, art and artifacts, and digital media. Additional responsibilities have included oversight of the collections care and the preservation microfilm programs, as well as activities such as outreach, environmental monitoring, and emergency preparedness and response. Rebecca also taught the graduate survey course “Preservation of Library and Archival Materials” at the School of Communication and Information at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, and was a teaching assistant at the Information Technology Lab at the School of Information, The University of Texas at Austin. Rebecca has an MS in Information Studies, with a Certificate of Advanced Studies in Preservation Administration, and a BA in the History of Art.

Rebecca Holte will deliver her Featured presentation "Lossless compression and other stories from the New York Public Library audio and moving image initiative" on Wednesday October 2nd, 1:30am - 2:15pm