Assistant Professor at Aalborg University
Northern Region, Denmark
Lecture title: “Sound as an Exteroceptive and Proprioceptive Sensing Modality for Autonomous Driving”.
Abstract: Can the automatic detection and interpretation of acoustic events ease autonomous driving? What monitoring and modelling the ego-noise of an autonomous vehicle can tell us about the
environment and the status of the vehicle?
Starting from specific use-cases, we will investigate the crucial role that sound analysis can play in autonomous driving, exploring state-of-the-art methods and techniques in machine learning which allow an autonomous system to robustly operate also in harsh noisy conditions. We will delve into different feature representations of audio signals, evaluating benefits and disadvantages with respect to the task at hand. We will discuss less traditional approaches to noise removal to cope with environments characterised by really low Signal-to-Noise Ratios (SNRs). Lastly, we will examine the possibility of considering noise, not as an unwanted masking signal in the auditory data we wish to analyse and understand, but rather, as an opportunity to learn valuable information about the environment and the behaviour of an autonomous vehicle.
Letizia is an Assistant Professor in Robotics at Aalborg University. Her research interests lie in the areas of signal processing, machine learning, and their application to robotics, autonomous systems, cognitive modelling and intelligent healthcare.
From 2014 to 2018, she has been a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Oxford Robotics Institute, at the University of Oxford, working with Prof. Paul Newman and Prof. Ingmar Posner.
Previously, she was associated with the INSPIRE (Investigating Speech Processing In Realistic Environments) Initial Training Network as a Marie Curie Postdoctoral Research Fellow (2012-2013), and collaborated, as a visiting researcher, with the Centre for Applied Hearing Research (2013), and the Cognitive Systems Group at the Technical University of Denmark (2010-2012). She holds an MSc in Computer Engineering with specialisation in Artificial Intelligence, and a PhD degree in Computer Science and Engineering from Sapienza – University of Rome. She is a Member of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society (RAS), the IEEE Signal Processing Society (SPS), the IEEE Intelligent Transportation Systems Society, Associate Member of the IEEE Autonomous Systems Initiative (ASI), and a Member of the British Society of Audiology (BSA), among others.