One of the biggest challenges of natural language generation (NLG) is the proper handling of named entities. Named entities are a common source of grammar mistakes such as wrong prepositions, wrong article handling, or incorrect entity inflection. Without factoring linguistic representation, such errors are often underrepresented when evaluating on a small set of arbitrarily picked argument values, or when translating a dataset from a linguistically simpler language, like English, to a linguistically complex language, like Russian. However, for some applications, broadly precise grammatical correctness is critical -- native speakers may find entity-related grammar errors silly, jarring, or even offensive. To enable the creation of more linguistically diverse NLG datasets, we release a Corpus of Linguistically Significant Entities (CLSE) annotated by linguist experts. The corpus includes 34 languages and covers 74 different semantic types to support various applications from airline ticketing to video games. To demonstrate one possible use of CLSE, we produce an augmented version of the Schema-Guided Dialog Dataset, SGD-CLSE. Using the CLSE's entities and a small number of human translations, we create a linguistically representative NLG evaluation benchmark in three languages: French (high-resource), Marathi (low-resource), and Russian (highly inflected language). We establish quality baselines for neural, template-based, and hybrid NLG systems and discuss the strengths and weaknesses of each approach.
One of the challenges in a task oriented natural language application like the Google Assistant, Siri, or Alexa is to localize the output to many languages. This paper explores doing this by applying machine translation to the English output. Using machine translation is very scalable, as it can work with any English output and can handle dynamic text, but otherwise the problem is a poor fit. The required quality bar is close to perfection, the range of sentences is extremely narrow, and the sentences are often very different than the ones in the machine translation training data. This combination of requirements is novel in the field of domain adaptation for machine translation. We are able to reach the required quality bar by building on existing ideas and adding new ones: finetuning on in-domain translations, adding sentences from the Web, adding semantic annotations, and using automatic error detection. The paper shares our approach and results, together with a distillation model to serve the translation models at scale.