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Real-Time MRI Video synthesis from time aligned phonemes with sequence-to-sequence networks

by   Sathvik Udupa, et al.

Real-Time Magnetic resonance imaging (rtMRI) of the midsagittal plane of the mouth is of interest for speech production research. In this work, we focus on estimating utterance level rtMRI video from the spoken phoneme sequence. We obtain time-aligned phonemes from forced alignment, to obtain frame-level phoneme sequences which are aligned with rtMRI frames. We propose a sequence-to-sequence learning model with a transformer phoneme encoder and convolutional frame decoder. We then modify the learning by using intermediary features obtained from sampling from a pretrained phoneme-conditioned variational autoencoder (CVAE). We train on 8 subjects in a subject-specific manner and demonstrate the performance with a subjective test. We also use an auxiliary task of air tissue boundary (ATB) segmentation to obtain the objective scores on the proposed models. We show that the proposed method is able to generate realistic rtMRI video for unseen utterances, and adding CVAE is beneficial for learning the sequence-to-sequence mapping for subjects where the mapping is hard to learn.


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