The emergence of large language models (LLMs) has sparked significant interest in extending their remarkable language capabilities to speech. However, modality alignment between speech and text still remains an open problem. Current solutions can be categorized into two strategies. One is a cascaded approach where outputs (tokens or states) of a separately trained speech recognition system are used as inputs for LLMs, which limits their potential in modeling alignment between speech and text. The other is an end-to-end approach that relies on speech instruction data, which is very difficult to collect in large quantities. In this paper, we address these issues and propose the BLSP approach that Bootstraps Language-Speech Pre-training via behavior alignment of continuation writing. We achieve this by learning a lightweight modality adapter between a frozen speech encoder and an LLM, ensuring that the LLM exhibits the same generation behavior regardless of the modality of input: a speech segment or its transcript. The training process can be divided into two steps. The first step prompts an LLM to generate texts with speech transcripts as prefixes, obtaining text continuations. In the second step, these continuations are used as supervised signals to train the modality adapter in an end-to-end manner. We demonstrate that this straightforward process can extend the capabilities of LLMs to speech, enabling speech recognition, speech translation, spoken language understanding, and speech conversation, even in zero-shot cross-lingual scenarios.
Recently, prompt learning has become a new paradigm to utilize pre-trained language models (PLMs) and achieves promising results in downstream tasks with a negligible increase of parameters. The current usage of discrete and continuous prompts assumes that the prompt is fixed for a specific task and all samples in the task share the same prompt. However, a task may contain quite diverse samples in which some are easy and others are difficult, and diverse prompts are desirable. In this paper, we propose an instance-aware prompt learning method that learns a different prompt for each instance. Specifically, we suppose that each learnable prompt token has a different contribution to different instances, and we learn the contribution by calculating the relevance score between an instance and each prompt token. The contribution weighted prompt would be instance aware. We apply our method to both unidirectional and bidirectional PLMs on both language understanding and generation tasks. Extensive experiments demonstrate that our method obtains considerable improvements compared to strong baselines. Especially, our method achieves the state-of-the-art on the SuperGLUE few-shot learning benchmark.
Realizing general-purpose language intelligence has been a longstanding goal for natural language processing, where standard evaluation benchmarks play a fundamental and guiding role. We argue that for general-purpose language intelligence evaluation, the benchmark itself needs to be comprehensive and systematic. To this end, we propose CUGE, a Chinese Language Understanding and Generation Evaluation benchmark with the following features: (1) Hierarchical benchmark framework, where datasets are principally selected and organized with a language capability-task-dataset hierarchy. (2) Multi-level scoring strategy, where different levels of model performance are provided based on the hierarchical framework. To facilitate CUGE, we provide a public leaderboard that can be customized to support flexible model judging criteria. Evaluation results on representative pre-trained language models indicate ample room for improvement towards general-purpose language intelligence. CUGE is publicly available at cuge.baai.ac.cn.
Back-translation (BT) has become one of the de facto components in unsupervised neural machine translation (UNMT), and it explicitly makes UNMT have translation ability. However, all the pseudo bi-texts generated by BT are treated equally as clean data during optimization without considering the quality diversity, leading to slow convergence and limited translation performance. To address this problem, we propose a curriculum learning method to gradually utilize pseudo bi-texts based on their quality from multiple granularities. Specifically, we first apply cross-lingual word embedding to calculate the potential translation difficulty (quality) for the monolingual sentences. Then, the sentences are fed into UNMT from easy to hard batch by batch. Furthermore, considering the quality of sentences/tokens in a particular batch are also diverse, we further adopt the model itself to calculate the fine-grained quality scores, which are served as learning factors to balance the contributions of different parts when computing loss and encourage the UNMT model to focus on pseudo data with higher quality. Experimental results on WMT 14 En-Fr, WMT 16 En-De, WMT 16 En-Ro, and LDC En-Zh translation tasks demonstrate that the proposed method achieves consistent improvements with faster convergence speed.