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Egocentric Auditory Attention Localization in Conversations

Fiona Ryan · Hao Jiang · Abhinav Shukla · James M. Rehg · Vamsi Krishna Ithapu

West Building Exhibit Halls ABC 221


In a noisy conversation environment such as a dinner party, people often exhibit selective auditory attention, or the ability to focus on a particular speaker while tuning out others. Recognizing who somebody is listening to in a conversation is essential for developing technologies that can understand social behavior and devices that can augment human hearing by amplifying particular sound sources. The computer vision and audio research communities have made great strides towards recognizing sound sources and speakers in scenes. In this work, we take a step further by focusing on the problem of localizing auditory attention targets in egocentric video, or detecting who in a camera wearer’s field of view they are listening to. To tackle the new and challenging Selective Auditory Attention Localization problem, we propose an end-to-end deep learning approach that uses egocentric video and multichannel audio to predict the heatmap of the camera wearer’s auditory attention. Our approach leverages spatiotemporal audiovisual features and holistic reasoning about the scene to make predictions, and outperforms a set of baselines on a challenging multi-speaker conversation dataset. Project page:

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