Audio and Media Technologies

Bias in language: Is gender bias a factor in industrial speech processing?

Audio and Media Technologies / 17.9.2021

© Fraunhofer IIS / Paul Pulkert
Dr. Alessandra Zarcone holds a PhD in linguistics and works at the interface between natural language processing and cognitive science. She joined Fraunhofer IIS in 2018, where her job focuses on voice assistants and human-machine interaction.

Gender bias and bias in general play an increasing role in natural language processing. AI applications use vast amounts of data to learn associations relating to all kinds of variables or features. But in doing so, they also adopt existing prejudices and stereotypes. In this interview, Dr. Alessandra Zarcone discusses whether gender bias is also a factor in industrial natural language processing, to what extent she herself is concerned with the issue, and whether Fraunhofer IIS is addressing this problem.

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Sound engineer Daniela Rieger wins second place for the 2021 ARD/ZDF “Women + Media Technology” award

Audio and Media Technologies / 1.9.2021

New sound technologies make it possible to craft highly realistic audio experiences in which the sound comes from all sides – even from above. Sound engineer Daniela Rieger completed her Master of Engineering at Stuttgart Media University and is part of the team in the Media Systems and Applications department at Fraunhofer IIS, where she works to optimize these types of audio formats.

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"The Audio Revolution from Erlangen" – Institute Director Bernhard Grill at the Bavarian SME Conference

Audio and Media Technologies / 21.12.2020

© Fraunhofer IIS/Karoline Glasow

Dr. Bernhard Grill, Director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS, was a guest speaker at the 19th Bavarian SME Conference in December 2020. There he talked about “Erlangen’s Audio Revolution – mp3, Fraunhofer and big business with compressed file formats.”

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Elena Burdiel – An international innovation artist with a passion for music and the Nuremberg metropolitan region

Audio and Media Technologies / 14.12.2020

© Fraunhofer IIS / Paul Pulkert

When Elena Burdiel talks about her work in the Audio Coding & Multimedia Software group at the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS in Erlangen, you immediately notice her enthusiasm and how her eyes light up. It quickly becomes clear that her world revolves (almost) entirely around music and sound. But delving a little deeper reveals that the 29-year-old has many exciting qualities that make her a unique “innovation artist” in the Nuremberg metropolitan region.

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MPEG-H AUDIO – next Generation Audio for UHD, Streaming and VR

Audio and Media Technologies / July 14, 2020

MPEG-H Audio
© Fraunhofer IIS

Audio description for video over MPEG-H audio now available in eight languages.

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In the middle of the coronavirus pandemic webinars open up new opportunities

Audio and Media Technologies / Engineering of Adaptive Systems / Fraunhofer IIS / 25.06.2020

© AdobeStock / Tierney

Speakers tell us about their experience with the webinar series at Fraunhofer IIS.

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»This is absolutely one of the most difficult problems in AI research.«

Audio and Media Technologies

Birgit Brüggemeier, Ph.D.
© Fraunhofer IIS/Paul Pulkert
Project manager Birgit Brüggemeier is researching intelligent human-machine interaction using voice. Together with other AI experts, she is developing future voice interfaces.

Voice assistants such as Alexa, Siri and the like are becoming more and more popular, but the systems struggle when it comes to understanding complex contents and context or deriving semantic meaning. Birgit Brüggemeier knows what the problem is: »The machine lacks common sense.« Together with her project team, she is working on the European version of a voice assistant, looking at how these error messages can be communicated to the user without them getting annoyed and ending their interaction with the voice assistant.

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“We’re determined to be in on the act”Fraunhofer IIS

Audio and Media Technologies / 16.5.2019

Prof. Albert Heuberger, Dr. Bernhard Grill, directors of Fraunhofer IIS
© Fraunhofer IIS/Peter Roggenthin
Prof. Albert Heuberger and Dr. Bernhard Grill want to advance AI technologies at Fraunhofer IIS in such a way that they benefit industry and users.

In this interview, Prof. Albert Heuberger and Dr.  Bernhard Grill explain why the time is ripe for artificial intelligence and how AI can make technological developments for customers even more beneficial.

Fraunhofer IIS @IBC 2018

Audio and Media Technologies / 5.9.2018

© Antonioguillem -

Fraunhofer IIS is presenting the latest audio and media technologies at IBC 2018. Some of them can be seen here in a series of short employee films. Take a look!

3D sound for everyone

Audio and Media Technologies / 11.7.2018

© Fraunhofer IIS/viaframe
3D sound that transports viewers to the heart of the action.

Until now, recording high-quality 360° sound or enjoying immersive audio in a home theater was exclusive to users willing to install and operate a multitude of microphones or loudspeakers. Such complex setups will, however, soon be a thing of the past. Thanks to the special algorithms of the Fraunhofer upHear family of technologies capturing and playback of 3D sound is now possible just with a single device.

“Fraunhofer IIS is definitely a special place“

Audio and Media Technologies / 23.6.2017

© Fraunhofer IIS/Julia Sing
Bernhard Grill in Fraunhofer IIS’s unique sound laboratory.

„The positive work environment and being together with long-standing colleagues mean a lot to me”, explains Dr. Bernhard Grill, director and division head at Fraunhofer IIS. Grill has been at the institute since the early days and played a key part in its rise from the level of a working group to become a world-renowned research institute. He has also been a member of the institute’s management team since 2016. We asked him about his professional responsibilities and his most special places away from work.

A revolution in tv sound

Audio and Media Technologies / 8.3.2017

MPEG-H Audio allows users to adjust the audio mix themselves.
© Fraunhofer IIS / viaframe
MPEG-H Audio allows users to adjust the audio mix themselves.

For the first time in decades, a revolution in TV sound is about to enter our homes. With the exception of the introduction of 5.1 surround sound, TV has previously offered little in the way of audio innovations. Now, sound on TV and the Internet is about to become individual and capable of filling whole rooms. With the new audio codec MPEG-H Audio, TV and Internet audiences will be able to adjust their own soundmix and bring 3D cinema sound to their own homes.

Immersed in Sound

Audio and Media Technologies / 8.3.2016

© Fraunhofer IIS/David Hartfiel
Fraunhofer Cingo® supplies perfect 3D sound for virtual reality headsets.

Fraunhofer IIS has been successfully developing audio coding technologies for many years. The goal of these technologies is to store and transmit audio signals in optimum quality. But what good is having the best audio quality if devices can only reproduce it inadequately? To address this prob- lem, scientists at Fraunhofer IIS have developed the Cingo® and Symphoria® technologies to improve playback sound quality.

Catching the Light - Film Technology of the future

Audio and Media Technologies / 8.3.2016

© Fraunhofer IIS/David Hartfiel
Fraunhofer IIS's technology saves the entire light information for a scene.

Shooting is finished. During post-production, errors are discovered that had previously gone unnoticed. With light-field processing, this is no problem. The technology offers new possibilities for film production and allows scenes to be modified.


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