If I had to come up with a positive aspect of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’d have to be the accessibility of a number of workshops/courses/conferences that you normally wouldn’t necessarily travel to or that wouldn’t be open to the public. Therefore, making the best out of the current situation, within the past week, I got to attend a couple of workshops and courses from home:
The first one called The Anechoic Chamber: Construction and Reception of Silence in Language, Literature, and History at Uni Bielefeld approached the concept of silence from many different disciplines including literature, culture, and musicological aspects.
The second workshop was Laughter and Other Non-Verbal Vocalisations Workshop held at Uni Bielefeld as well. Here, the focus was much more on language and phonetic aspects of laughter and all sorts of non-verbal vocalizations. It came with a poster session (which as always was too short) and two great keynotes by Khiet Truong and Greg Bryant. My group from the PINTS project also presented two posters: the one I was involved in with Jürgen Trouvain you can find on the Publications section or on the conference website and the other one from Beeke Muhlack on the project website or again the conference website.
The third one that has been going on all week is a course on Voice technology given by Finnian Kelly of Oxford Wave Research organized by UZH Zurich. The course tackles the subject of speaker recognition from a technical point of view, shedding light on both the process of automatic speaker recognition and aspects of forensic speaker recognition. I am quite sure that everyone is enjoying the course as much as I am, as Finnian does an amazing job at explaining technical and complex matters in a comprehensible way.