Welcome to Bio-RAMP Lab!

Biomedical Research in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Perception (Bio-RAMP) is a global multidisciplinary research community at the intersection of healthcare and artificial intelligence. Our goal is to provide a platform for researchers across the globe to contribute to the development and application of AI in the field of medicine. Our lab is committed to increasing the participation and engagement of researchers and communities that are currently underrepresented in this field. We believe that the diversity of perspectives and experiences will lead to more inclusive and impactful solutions.

Focus Areas



AfriNames: Most ASR models “butcher” African Names


Useful conversational agents must accurately capture named entities to minimize error for downstream tasks, for example, asking a voice assistant to play a track from a certain artist, initiating navigation to a specific location, or documenting a diagnosis result for a specific patient.

However, where named entities such as ”Ukachukwu” (Igbo), ”Lakicia” (Swahili), or ”Ingabire” (Rwandan) are spoken, automatic speech recognition (ASR) models’ performance degrades significantly, propagating errors to downstream systems. We model this problem as a distribution shift and demonstrate that such model bias can be mitigated through multilingual pre-training, intelligent data augmentation strategies to increase the representation of African-named entities, and fine-tuning multilingual ASR models on multi- ple African accents. The resulting fine-tuned models show an 86.4% relative improvement compared with the baseline on samples with African-named entities.

Under Review

Advancing African Accented Clinical Speech Recognition with Generative and Discriminative Multitask Supervision


Although automatic speech recognition (ASR) could be considered a solved problem in the context of high-resource languages like English, ASR performance for accented speech is significantly inferior.

The recent emergence of large pretrained ASR models has facilitated multiple transfer learning and domain adaptation efforts, in which performant general-purpose ASR models are fine-tuned for specific domains, such as clinical or accented speech. However, African accented clinical speech recognition remains largely unexplored. We propose a semantically aligned, domain-specific multitask learning framework (generative and discriminative) and demonstrate empirically that semantically aligned, multitask learning enhances ASR, outperforming the single-task architecture by 2.5% (relative). We discover that the generative multitask design improves generalization to unseen accents, while the discriminative multitask approach improves clinical ASR for majority and minority accents.

African doctor intron afrispeech

Under Review

AfriSpeech-200: Pan-African accented speech dataset for clinical and general domain ASR


Africa has a very low doctor-to-patient ratio. At very busy clinics, doctors could see 30+ patients per day– a heavy patient burden compared with developed countries–

but productivity tools such as clinical automatic speech recognition (ASR) are lacking for these overworked clinicians. However, clinical ASR is mature, even ubiquitous, in developed nations, and clinician-reported performance of commercial clinical ASR systems is generally satisfactory. Furthermore, the recent performance of general domain ASR is approaching human accuracy. However, several gaps exist. Several publications have highlighted racial bias with speech-to-text algorithms and performance on minority accents lags significantly. To our knowledge, there is no publicly available research or benchmark on accented African clinical ASR, and speech data is non-existent for the majority of African accents. We release AfriSpeech, 200hrs of Pan-African speeches, 67,577 clips from 2,463 unique speakers, across 120 indigenous accents from 13 countries for clinical and general domain ASR, a benchmark test set, with publicly available pre-trained models with SOTA performance on the AfriSpeech benchmark.


Tobi Olatunji

Computer Science

Atnafu Lambebo

Computer Science

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