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Dr. William T. Freeman: "Visually Indicated Sounds"

Event Type
The Department of Computer Science, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
2405 Siebel Center
Jan 30, 2017   11:00 am  
Dr. William T. Freeman, Thomas and Gerd Perkins Professor of Electical Engineering and Computer Science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Originating Calendar
Computer Science Speakers

Abstract: Children may learn about the world by pushing, banging, and manipulating things; watching and listening as materials make their distinctive sounds - dirt makes a thud; ceramic makes a clink. These sounds reveal physical properites of the objects, as well as the force and motion of the physical interaction.

We've explored a toy version of that learning-through-interaction by recording audio and video while we hit many things with a drumstick. We developed an algorithm that predicts sounds from silent videos of the drumstick interactions. The algorithm uses a recurrent neural network to predict sound features from videos, and then produces a waveform from these features with an example-based synthesis procedure. We demonstrate that the sounds generated by our model are realistic enough to fool participants in a "real or fake" psychophysical experiment, and that the task of predicting sounds allows our system to learn about material properties in the scene.

BIO: Dr. William T. Freeman is the Thomas and Gerd Perkins Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT, and a member of the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) there. He was the Associate Department Head from 2011-2014.

His current research interests include machine learning applied to computer vision, Bayesian models of visual perception, and computational photography. He received outstanding paper awards at computer vision or machine learning conferences in 1997, 2006, 2009 and 2012, and test-of-time awards for papers from 1990 and 1995. Previous research topics include steerable filters and pyramids, orientation histograms, the generic viewpoint assumption, color constancy, computer vision for computer games, and belief propagation in networks with loops.

He is active in the program or organizing committees of computer vision, graphics, and machine learning conferences. He was the program co-chair for ICCV 2005, and for CVPR 2013.

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