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Julia Hirschberg

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Biography

Julia Hirschberg is an innovator in building viable computational models of human prosody for use in speech synthesis. Her goal has been to make human­–computer interaction in spoken dialog systems more natural and effective. She was one of the architects of the Tone and Break Indices (ToBI) system for labeling human prosodic contours that is used in many text to speech systems and is widely used in prosody research. Initially used for intonational description of standard American English, ToBI has been extended to model other languages. Professor Hirschberg has also pioneered work in emotional and deceptive speech and on audio browsing and retrieval research, both in techniques to improve audio search and to make audio search engines more usable. An IEEE Senior Member, Dr. Hirschberg is a professor in the Department of Computer Science at Columbia University, New York, N.Y.