In Africa, and the world at large, there is an increasing focus on developing Neural Machine Translation (NMT) systems to overcome language barriers. NMT for Low-resource language is particularly compelling as it involves learning with limited labelled data. However, obtaining a well-aligned parallel corpus for low-resource languages can be challenging. The disparity between the technological advancement of a few global languages and the lack of research on NMT for local languages in Chad is striking. End-to-end NMT trials on low-resource Chad languages have not been attempted. Additionally, there is a dearth of online and well-structured data gathering for research in Natural Language Processing, unlike some African languages. However, a guided approach for data gathering can produce bitext data for many Chadian language translation pairs with well-known languages that have ample data. In this project, we created the first sba-Fr Dataset, which is a corpus of Ngambay-to-French translations, and fine-tuned three pre-trained models using this dataset. Our experiments show that the M2M100 model outperforms other models with high BLEU scores on both original and original+synthetic data. The publicly available bitext dataset can be used for research purposes.
In this work, we develop and release Llama 2, a collection of pretrained and fine-tuned large language models (LLMs) ranging in scale from 7 billion to 70 billion parameters. Our fine-tuned LLMs, called Llama 2-Chat, are optimized for dialogue use cases. Our models outperform open-source chat models on most benchmarks we tested, and based on our human evaluations for helpfulness and safety, may be a suitable substitute for closed-source models. We provide a detailed description of our approach to fine-tuning and safety improvements of Llama 2-Chat in order to enable the community to build on our work and contribute to the responsible development of LLMs.
Machine Translation (MT) has been widely used for cross-lingual classification, either by translating the test set into English and running inference with a monolingual model (translate-test), or translating the training set into the target languages and finetuning a multilingual model (translate-train). However, most research in the area focuses on the multilingual models rather than the MT component. We show that, by using a stronger MT system and mitigating the mismatch between training on original text and running inference on machine translated text, translate-test can do substantially better than previously assumed. The optimal approach, however, is highly task dependent, as we identify various sources of cross-lingual transfer gap that affect different tasks and approaches differently. Our work calls into question the dominance of multilingual models for cross-lingual classification, and prompts to pay more attention to MT-based baselines.
Existing metrics for evaluating the quality of automatically generated questions such as BLEU, ROUGE, BERTScore, and BLEURT compare the reference and predicted questions, providing a high score when there is a considerable lexical overlap or semantic similarity between the candidate and the reference questions. This approach has two major shortcomings. First, we need expensive human-provided reference questions. Second, it penalises valid questions that may not have high lexical or semantic similarity to the reference questions. In this paper, we propose a new metric, RQUGE, based on the answerability of the candidate question given the context. The metric consists of a question-answering and a span scorer module, in which we use pre-trained models from the existing literature, and therefore, our metric can be used without further training. We show that RQUGE has a higher correlation with human judgment without relying on the reference question. RQUGE is shown to be significantly more robust to several adversarial corruptions. Additionally, we illustrate that we can significantly improve the performance of QA models on out-of-domain datasets by fine-tuning on the synthetic data generated by a question generation model and re-ranked by RQUGE.
Large language models (LLMs) have been shown to be able to perform new tasks based on a few demonstrations or natural language instructions. While these capabilities have led to widespread adoption, most LLMs are developed by resource-rich organizations and are frequently kept from the public. As a step towards democratizing this powerful technology, we present BLOOM, a 176B-parameter open-access language model designed and built thanks to a collaboration of hundreds of researchers. BLOOM is a decoder-only Transformer language model that was trained on the ROOTS corpus, a dataset comprising hundreds of sources in 46 natural and 13 programming languages (59 in total). We find that BLOOM achieves competitive performance on a wide variety of benchmarks, with stronger results after undergoing multitask prompted finetuning. To facilitate future research and applications using LLMs, we publicly release our models and code under the Responsible AI License.
Driven by the goal of eradicating language barriers on a global scale, machine translation has solidified itself as a key focus of artificial intelligence research today. However, such efforts have coalesced around a small subset of languages, leaving behind the vast majority of mostly low-resource languages. What does it take to break the 200 language barrier while ensuring safe, high quality results, all while keeping ethical considerations in mind? In No Language Left Behind, we took on this challenge by first contextualizing the need for low-resource language translation support through exploratory interviews with native speakers. Then, we created datasets and models aimed at narrowing the performance gap between low and high-resource languages. More specifically, we developed a conditional compute model based on Sparsely Gated Mixture of Experts that is trained on data obtained with novel and effective data mining techniques tailored for low-resource languages. We propose multiple architectural and training improvements to counteract overfitting while training on thousands of tasks. Critically, we evaluated the performance of over 40,000 different translation directions using a human-translated benchmark, Flores-200, and combined human evaluation with a novel toxicity benchmark covering all languages in Flores-200 to assess translation safety. Our model achieves an improvement of 44% BLEU relative to the previous state-of-the-art, laying important groundwork towards realizing a universal translation system. Finally, we open source all contributions described in this work, accessible at https://github.com/facebookresearch/fairseq/tree/nllb.
Recent advances in the pre-training of language models leverage large-scale datasets to create multilingual models. However, low-resource languages are mostly left out in these datasets. This is primarily because many widely spoken languages are not well represented on the web and therefore excluded from the large-scale crawls used to create datasets. Furthermore, downstream users of these models are restricted to the selection of languages originally chosen for pre-training. This work investigates how to optimally leverage existing pre-trained models to create low-resource translation systems for 16 African languages. We focus on two questions: 1) How can pre-trained models be used for languages not included in the initial pre-training? and 2) How can the resulting translation models effectively transfer to new domains? To answer these questions, we create a new African news corpus covering 16 languages, of which eight languages are not part of any existing evaluation dataset. We demonstrate that the most effective strategy for transferring both to additional languages and to additional domains is to fine-tune large pre-trained models on small quantities of high-quality translation data.
Generating factual, long-form text such as Wikipedia articles raises three key challenges: how to gather relevant evidence, how to structure information into well-formed text, and how to ensure that the generated text is factually correct. We address these by developing a model for English text that uses a retrieval mechanism to identify relevant supporting information on the web and a cache-based pre-trained encoder-decoder to generate long-form biographies section by section, including citation information. To assess the impact of available web evidence on the output text, we compare the performance of our approach when generating biographies about women (for which less information is available on the web) vs. biographies generally. To this end, we curate a dataset of 1,500 biographies about women. We analyze our generated text to understand how differences in available web evidence data affect generation. We evaluate the factuality, fluency, and quality of the generated texts using automatic metrics and human evaluation. We hope that these techniques can be used as a starting point for human writers, to aid in reducing the complexity inherent in the creation of long-form, factual text.
Users and organizations are generating ever-increasing amounts of private data from a wide range of sources. Incorporating private data is important to personalize open-domain applications such as question-answering, fact-checking, and personal assistants. State-of-the-art systems for these tasks explicitly retrieve relevant information to a user question from a background corpus before producing an answer. While today's retrieval systems assume the corpus is fully accessible, users are often unable or unwilling to expose their private data to entities hosting public data. We first define the PUBLIC-PRIVATE AUTOREGRESSIVE INFORMATION RETRIEVAL (PAIR) privacy framework for the novel retrieval setting over multiple privacy scopes. We then argue that an adequate benchmark is missing to study PAIR since existing textual benchmarks require retrieving from a single data distribution. However, public and private data intuitively reflect different distributions, motivating us to create ConcurrentQA, the first textual QA benchmark to require concurrent retrieval over multiple data-distributions. Finally, we show that existing systems face large privacy vs. performance tradeoffs when applied to our proposed retrieval setting and investigate how to mitigate these tradeoffs.