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ISCApad Archive  »  2021  »  ISCApad #277  »  Events  »  Other Events  »  (2021-08-30) The Fearless Steps Challenge(FSC) @ Interspeech 2021

ISCApad #277

Saturday, July 10, 2021 by Chris Wellekens

3-3-17 (2021-08-30) The Fearless Steps Challenge(FSC) @ Interspeech 2021

ISCApad INTERSPEECH February 2021 February 10, 2021

The Fearless Steps Challenge(FSC)

TIMELINE: Challenge Start Date (Data Release): February 11th 2021

INTERSPEECH-2020 Papers dealing with FEARLESS STEPS deadline: April 2, 2021

Website Link:

Registration Link:





The Fearless Steps Initiative by UTDallas-CRSS led to the digitization, recovery, and diarization of 19,000 hours of original analog audio data, as well as the development of algorithms to extract meaningful information from this naturalistic data resource. As an initial step to motivate a stream-lined and collaborative effort from the speech and language community, UTDallas-CRSS is hosting a series of progressively complex tasks to promote advanced research on naturalistic “Big Data” corpora. This began with ISCA INTERSPEECH-2019: 'The FEARLESS STEPS Challenge: Phase 1 (FSC-P1)'. This first edition of this challenge encouraged the development of core unsupervised/semi-supervised speech and language systems for single-channel data with low resource availability, serving as the “First Step” towards extracting high-level information from such massive unlabeled corpora. This was followed with ISCA INTERSPEECH-2020 which held the Special Session for FEARLESS STEPS Challenge: Phase 2 (FSC-P2), which focused on developing supervised learning strategies for the 100 hour Challenge Corpus.

As a natural progression following the successful Inaugural Challenge FSC-P1 and FEARLESS STEPS Challenge FSC-P2, the FEARLESS STEPS Challenge: Phase 3 (FSC-P3) focuses on development of single-channel supervised learning strategies with an aim to test system generalizability to varying channel and mission data. FSC-P3 also provides an additional challenge task of Conversational Analysis, motivating researchers to work on natural language understanding and group dynamics analysis. FSC-P3 provides 80 hours of ground-truth data through Training and Development sets, with 20 hours of blind-set Apollo-11 evaluation data, 5 hours of unseen channel evaluation data and an additional 5 hours of blind-set Apollo-13 mission evaluation data. Based on feedback from the Fearless Steps participants, additional Tracks for streamlined speech recognition, speaker diarization, and conversational analysis have been included in the FS#3. The results for this Challenge will be presented at the ISCA INTERSPEECH-2021 Special Session. We encourage participants to explore any and all research tasks of interest with the Fearless Steps Corpus – with suggested Task Domains listed below. Research participants can however, also utilize the FSC-P3 corpus to explore additional problems dealing with naturalistic data, which we welcome as part of the special session.


Challenge Tasks in Fearless Steps Phase 3 (FSC-P3):

1. Speech Activity Detection (SAD)

2. Speaker Identification (SID)

3. Speaker Diarization:

3a. Track 1: Diarization using reference SAD

3b. Track 2: Diarization using system SAD

4. Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR):

4a. Track 1: ASR using reference Diarization

4b. Track 2: Continuous stream ASR

5. Conversational Analysis (CONV):

5a. Track 1: Hotspot Detection

5b. Track 2: Extractive Summarization



John H.L. Hansen (

Christopher Cieri (

Omid Sadjadi (

Aditya Joglekar (

Meena Chandra Shekar (

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