Adapting to Noise in Speech Obfuscation by Audio Profiling using Generative Models for Passive Health Monitoring


IEEE Engineering in Medicine & Biology Society (EMBC)



Research Areas



Passive health monitoring has been introduced as a solution for continuous diagnosis and tracking of subjects' condition with minimal effort. This is partially achieved by the technology of passive audio recording although it poses major audio privacy issues for subjects. Existing methods are limited to controlled recording environments and their prediction is significantly influenced by background noises. Meanwhile, they are too compute-intensive to be continuously running on smart phones. In this paper, we implement an efficient and robust audio privacy preserving method that profiles the background audio to focus only on audio activities detected during recording for performance improvement, and to adapt to the noise for more accurate speech segmentation. We analyze the performance of our method using audio data collected by a smart watch in lab noisy settings. Our obfuscation results show a low false positive rate of 20% with a 92% true positive rate by adapting to the recording noise level. We also reduced model memory footprint and execution time of the method on a smart phone by 75% and 62% to enable continuous speech obfuscation.

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