Artificial Intelligence (AI) has witnessed rapid growth, especially in the subfields Natural Language Processing (NLP), Machine Learning (ML) and Computer Vision (CV). Keeping pace with this rapid progress poses a considerable challenge for researchers and professionals in the field. In this arXiv report, the second of its kind, which covers the period from January to September 2023, we aim to provide insights and analysis that help navigate these dynamic areas of AI. We accomplish this by 1) identifying the top-40 most cited papers from arXiv in the given period, comparing the current top-40 papers to the previous report, which covered the period January to June; 2) analyzing dataset characteristics and keyword popularity; 3) examining the global sectoral distribution of institutions to reveal differences in engagement across geographical areas. Our findings highlight the continued dominance of NLP: while only 16% of all submitted papers have NLP as primary category (more than 25% have CV and ML as primary category), 50% of the most cited papers have NLP as primary category, 90% of which target LLMs. Additionally, we show that i) the US dominates among both top-40 and top-9k papers, followed by China; ii) Europe clearly lags behind and is hardly represented in the top-40 most cited papers; iii) US industry is largely overrepresented in the top-40 most influential papers.
With an increasing number of parameters and pre-training data, generative large language models (LLMs) have shown remarkable capabilities to solve tasks with minimal or no task-related examples. Notably, LLMs have been successfully employed as evaluation metrics in text generation tasks. Within this context, we introduce the Eval4NLP 2023 shared task that asks participants to explore prompting and score extraction for machine translation (MT) and summarization evaluation. Specifically, we propose a novel competition setting in which we select a list of allowed LLMs and disallow fine-tuning to ensure a focus on prompting. We present an overview of participants' approaches and evaluate them on a new reference-free test set spanning three language pairs for MT and a summarization dataset. Notably, despite the task's restrictions, the best-performing systems achieve results on par with or even surpassing recent reference-free metrics developed using larger models, including GEMBA and Comet-Kiwi-XXL. Finally, as a separate track, we perform a small-scale human evaluation of the plausibility of explanations given by the LLMs.
The rapid growth of information in the field of Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI), particularly in the subfields of Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Machine Learning (ML), presents a significant challenge for researchers and practitioners to keep pace with the latest developments. To address the problem of information overload, this report by the Natural Language Learning Group at Bielefeld University focuses on identifying the most popular papers on arXiv, with a specific emphasis on NLP and ML. The objective is to offer a quick guide to the most relevant and widely discussed research, aiding both newcomers and established researchers in staying abreast of current trends. In particular, we compile a list of the 40 most popular papers based on normalized citation counts from the first half of 2023. We observe the dominance of papers related to Large Language Models (LLMs) and specifically ChatGPT during the first half of 2023, with the latter showing signs of declining popularity more recently, however. Further, NLP related papers are the most influential (around 60\% of top papers) even though there are twice as many ML related papers in our data. Core issues investigated in the most heavily cited papers are: LLM efficiency, evaluation techniques, ethical considerations, embodied agents, and problem-solving with LLMs. Additionally, we examine the characteristics of top papers in comparison to others outside the top-40 list (noticing the top paper's focus on LLM related issues and higher number of co-authors) and analyze the citation distributions in our dataset, among others.
Unlike classical lexical overlap metrics such as BLEU, most current evaluation metrics for machine translation (for example, COMET or BERTScore) are based on black-box large language models. They often achieve strong correlations with human judgments, but recent research indicates that the lower-quality classical metrics remain dominant, one of the potential reasons being that their decision processes are more transparent. To foster more widespread acceptance of novel high-quality metrics, explainability thus becomes crucial. In this concept paper, we identify key properties as well as key goals of explainable machine translation metrics and provide a comprehensive synthesis of recent techniques, relating them to our established goals and properties. In this context, we also discuss the latest state-of-the-art approaches to explainable metrics based on generative models such as ChatGPT and GPT4. Finally, we contribute a vision of next-generation approaches, including natural language explanations. We hope that our work can help catalyze and guide future research on explainable evaluation metrics and, mediately, also contribute to better and more transparent machine translation systems.
* Preprint. We published an earlier version of this paper
(arXiv:2203.11131) under a different title. Both versions consider the
conceptualization of explainable metrics and are overall similar. However,
the new version puts a stronger emphasis on the survey of approaches for the
explanation of MT metrics including the latest LLM based approaches
ChatGPT, a chatbot developed by OpenAI, has gained widespread popularity and media attention since its release in November 2022. However, little hard evidence is available regarding its perception in various sources. In this paper, we analyze over 300,000 tweets and more than 150 scientific papers to investigate how ChatGPT is perceived and discussed. Our findings show that ChatGPT is generally viewed as of high quality, with positive sentiment and emotions of joy dominating in social media. Its perception has slightly decreased since its debut, however, with joy decreasing and (negative) surprise on the rise, and it is perceived more negatively in languages other than English. In recent scientific papers, ChatGPT is characterized as a great opportunity across various fields including the medical domain, but also as a threat concerning ethics and receives mixed assessments for education. Our comprehensive meta-analysis of ChatGPT's current perception after 2.5 months since its release can contribute to shaping the public debate and informing its future development. We make our data available.
State-of-the-art machine translation evaluation metrics are based on black-box language models. Hence, recent works consider their explainability with the goals of better understandability for humans and better metric analysis, including failure cases. In contrast, we explicitly leverage explanations to boost the metrics' performance. In particular, we perceive explanations as word-level scores, which we convert, via power means, into sentence-level scores. We combine this sentence-level score with the original metric to obtain a better metric. Our extensive evaluation and analysis across 5 datasets, 5 metrics and 4 explainability techniques shows that some configurations reliably improve the original metrics' correlation with human judgment. On two held datasets for testing, we obtain improvements in 15/18 resp. 4/4 cases. The gains in Pearson correlation are up to 0.032 resp. 0.055. We make our code available.
We explore efficient evaluation metrics for Natural Language Generation (NLG). To implement efficient metrics, we replace (i) computation-heavy transformers in metrics such as BERTScore, MoverScore, BARTScore, XMoverScore, etc. with lighter versions (such as distilled ones) and (ii) cubic inference time alignment algorithms such as Word Mover Distance with linear and quadratic approximations. We consider six evaluation metrics (both monolingual and multilingual), assessed on three different machine translation datasets, and 16 light-weight transformers as replacement. We find, among others, that (a) TinyBERT shows best quality-efficiency tradeoff for semantic similarity metrics of the BERTScore family, retaining 97\% quality and being 5x faster at inference time on average, (b) there is a large difference in speed-ups on CPU vs. GPU (much higher speed-ups on CPU), and (c) WMD approximations yield no efficiency gains but lead to a substantial drop in quality on 2 out of 3 datasets we examine.
Unlike classical lexical overlap metrics such as BLEU, most current evaluation metrics (such as BERTScore or MoverScore) are based on black-box language models such as BERT or XLM-R. They often achieve strong correlations with human judgments, but recent research indicates that the lower-quality classical metrics remain dominant, one of the potential reasons being that their decision processes are transparent. To foster more widespread acceptance of the novel high-quality metrics, explainability thus becomes crucial. In this concept paper, we identify key properties and propose key goals of explainable machine translation evaluation metrics. We also provide a synthesizing overview over recent approaches for explainable machine translation metrics and discuss how they relate to those goals and properties. Further, we conduct own novel experiments, which (among others) find that current adversarial NLP techniques are unsuitable for automatically identifying limitations of high-quality black-box evaluation metrics, as they are not meaning-preserving. Finally, we provide a vision of future approaches to explainable evaluation metrics and their evaluation. We hope that our work can help catalyze and guide future research on explainable evaluation metrics and, mediately, also contribute to better and more transparent text generation systems.