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Education University of Groningen Summer Schools

Speech Technology

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This is a hands-on summer school on speech technology for anyone interested in speech tech, from absolute beginners to experts. The event is comprised mainly of interactive workshops hosted by cutting-edge start-ups, including:

Voice Synthesis: Artificial voices, speech cloning, talking avatars in video games, and more.

ReadSpeaker: The best text-to-speech for you! Quality evaluation of hyper-realistic human voices, and how ReadSpeaker creates bespoke voices to match customer requirements. Students will evaluate audio along several criterion and learn about the nuances of measures to evaluate speech quality. 

Descript: Clone your own voice in just a few minutes. Learn about cutting edge voice cloning techniques, discuss ethical implications, and clone your own voice with software developed by professors at Berkeley at the company Lyrebird, since acquired by Descript.  [hybrid]

8D Games: Speech technology with serious gaming. Learn about the use of speech technology in Serious Gaming for support of engagement and learning experiences in healthcare & education.

Speech Recognition: Recognizing human voices with robots, real-time transcription, and more.

LuxAI: Embodied voice-based interaction with QTrobots. Students work in groups of up to 5 people per robot and implement interactional capabilities based on tutorial templates provided by the trainer. Examples include making the robot look at the speaker when they are talking, producing “back-channeling”, recognizing emotions, and using posture-tracking and face-recognition.

Amberscript: Real-time speech recognition! - Workshop description coming soon

Telecats: Voice technology in customer service. Let’s design a voice application together to help a company and its customers. What’s the work behind the scenes to create an optimal user experience? What are the considerations, possibilities, best practices, and challenges?

Explainers + Lectures

Nuance: Learn about the history of speech technology from a scholar at Nuance. From the beginnings of speech recognition and the earliest attempts at synthesis, up until the present. This presentation will be an interactive crash-course in the field suitable for beginners. [hybrid]

MSc Voice Technology: Find out about the new graduate program in voice technology at the University of Groningen and meet the program director for an interactive Q&A session.

Raspberry pi for speech tech: Get experience working on a raspberry pi in small groups on activities relating to speech tech.

Google (Daan van Esch, Senior Technical Program Manager with the Google Speech team):  Building Language Technologies across the World’s Languages

Respeecher (Anna Bulakh) — an Emmy-award winning Ukrainian voice synthesis company

University of Oxford (Prof. Jieun Kiaer)

... and more: Google, Ukrainian speech tech, DIY speech activities! 

Plus you will have a chance to present your own posters in a poster session attended by academics, partners from industry, and fellow students. 

Note that this summer school occurs simultaneous with the annual LITHME COST Action H2020 meeting at the same place. We are organizing it strategically so participants in the summer school can attend opening/closing events, keynote lectures, lunches, and other content, thus ensuring a diversity of channels to explore speech technology suitable for different backgrounds and interests of all participants.

Practical information
Dates & location

14 - 17 May 2023
Leeuwarden, the Netherlands


Bachelor’s, Master’s, and PhD


€ 135 for UG/ENLIGHT (including farewell dinner)
€ 95 for UG/ENLIGHT (excluding farewell dinner)
€ 175 for others (including farewell dinner)
€ 135 for others (excluding farewell dinners)

All tuition fees include a €10 add-on for fee waivers.

The financial aid only includes the summer school fee, all other expenses like travel and accommodation are on the student themselves.
Academic coordinators

Matt Coler (Campus Fryslân)
Jelske Dijkstra (Fryske Akademy/Mercator Research Centre)



This school is intended for:

  • undergraduates interested in AI, computing science, human-machine interaction, and applied linguistics who want to learn more about the field
  • graduates and PhDs interested in speech tech or AI who want to learn about current issues in the field, new applications, and are interested in the professional opportunities in the field.
  • all students who want to network, share ideas in a poster session, and learn about the field of speech technology.

It is expected that the participants have a sufficient command of the English language to actively participate in the discussions and to present their own work in English. Some programming skills would be an asset but this is not a requirement.

Course schedule
Day 1: Get to know each other
  • City tour in Leeuwarden
  • Welcome drinks

Day 2: Artificial voices

  • Workshop 1: Vocoders and vocoded music
  • Workshop 2: ESPnet for GMM-based voice conversion
  • Workshop 3: Voice cloning (ReadSpeaker)
  • Keynote: Speech Tech in Ukraine (Respeecher)

Day 3: Speech recognition and robots

  • Keynote: Jenny van Doorn
  • Workshop: Speech recognition for robots (LuxAI)
  • Poster session | Meet the PhD lab
  • Workshop: Recognition for small languages (AmberScript)
  • Keynote: Daan van Esch (Google)

Day 4: New avenues

  • Workshop: Serious games for small languages (8D Games)
  • Workshop: Raspberry Pi for speech Tech [tbd]
  • Lecture: Introducing the MSc Voice Tech program
Learning outcomes

After this summer school you will have:

  • learned about key concepts relating to the state-of-the-art in speech technology (specifically speech recognition and synthesis)
  • learned about applications of speech technology in industry (including robotics, video games, artificial voices, among others)
  • gained hands-on experience moving from theory to practice by working on diverse speech technology projects in workshops developed by academia and industry.
  • worked together in international, intercultural teams of students from different backgrounds


Preparation: 2 hours
Lectures: 9.3 hours per day x 3 days
Presentation: [depends on if student is presenting a poster]

Upon successful completion of the programme, the Summer School offers a Certificate of Attendance that mentions the workload of 28 hours (28 hours corresponds to 1 ECTS). Students can apply for recognition of these credits to the relevant authorities in their home institutions, therefore the final decision on awarding credits is at the discretion of their home institutions. We will be happy to provide any necessary information that might be requested in addition to the certificate of attendance.

Introduction to lecturers
  • Anna Bulakh (Respeecher, Ukraine)
  • Matt Coler (University of Groningen)
  • Jelske Dijkstra (Fryske Akademy/Mercator Research Centre)
  • Jenny van Doorn (University of Groningen)
  • Daan van Esch (Google, Amsterdam)
  • Svitlana Höhn (LuxAI, Luxembourg)
  • Frank Hopwood (University of Groningen)
  • Shekhar Nayak (University of Groningen)
  • Vass Verkhodanova (University of Groningen)
Application procedure

To apply, kindly fill out the online application form. Please note that you will be asked to upload the following documents:

  • Curriculum Vitae (max. 2 pages)
  • Motivation letter, clearly stating why you want to join this summer school, what you will bring to the school and what you hope to learn (max. 1 page)
  • To apply for financial aid: upload an extra motivation letter, clearly stating why you need the financial aid and how it would benefit you.

After being accepted, you will have the opportunity to send in an abstract to join the student poster session with your poster.

The deadline for application is 1 May 2023. Selection takes place on a 'first come, first serve'-basis. Selected applicants will be informed as soon as possible after their application has been reviewed. 


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Last modified:28 April 2023 10.06 a.m.