Language Models (LMs) pre-trained with self-supervision on large text corpora have become the default starting point for developing models for various NLP tasks. Once the pre-training corpus has been assembled, all data samples in the corpus are treated with equal importance during LM pre-training. However, due to varying levels of relevance and quality of data, equal importance to all the data samples may not be the optimal choice. While data reweighting has been explored in the context of task-specific supervised learning and LM fine-tuning, model-driven reweighting for pre-training data has not been explored. We fill this important gap and propose PRESENCE, a method for jointly reweighting samples by leveraging self-influence (SI) scores as an indicator of sample importance and pre-training. PRESENCE promotes novelty and stability for model pre-training. Through extensive analysis spanning multiple model sizes, datasets, and tasks, we present PRESENCE as an important first step in the research direction of sample reweighting for pre-training language models.
Spoken language identification refers to the task of automatically predicting the spoken language in a given utterance. Conventionally, it is modeled as a speech-based language identification task. Prior techniques have been constrained to a single modality; however in the case of video data there is a wealth of other metadata that may be beneficial for this task. In this work, we propose MuSeLI, a Multimodal Spoken Language Identification method, which delves into the use of various metadata sources to enhance language identification. Our study reveals that metadata such as video title, description and geographic location provide substantial information to identify the spoken language of the multimedia recording. We conduct experiments using two diverse public datasets of YouTube videos, and obtain state-of-the-art results on the language identification task. We additionally conduct an ablation study that describes the distinct contribution of each modality for language recognition.
Speech representation learning approaches for non-semantic tasks such as language recognition have either explored supervised embedding extraction methods using a classifier model or self-supervised representation learning approaches using raw data. In this paper, we propose a novel framework of combining self-supervised representation learning with the language label information for the pre-training task. This framework, termed as Label Aware Speech Representation (LASR) learning, uses a triplet based objective function to incorporate language labels along with the self-supervised loss function. The speech representations are further fine-tuned for the downstream task. The language recognition experiments are performed on two public datasets - FLEURS and Dhwani. In these experiments, we illustrate that the proposed LASR framework improves over the state-of-the-art systems on language identification. We also report an analysis of the robustness of LASR approach to noisy/missing labels as well as its application to multi-lingual speech recognition tasks.
Data scarcity is a crucial issue for the development of highly multilingual NLP systems. Yet for many under-represented languages (ULs) -- languages for which NLP re-search is particularly far behind in meeting user needs -- it is feasible to annotate small amounts of data. Motivated by this, we propose XTREME-UP, a benchmark defined by: its focus on the scarce-data scenario rather than zero-shot; its focus on user-centric tasks -- tasks with broad adoption by speakers of high-resource languages; and its focus on under-represented languages where this scarce-data scenario tends to be most realistic. XTREME-UP evaluates the capabilities of language models across 88 under-represented languages over 9 key user-centric technologies including ASR, OCR, MT, and information access tasks that are of general utility. We create new datasets for OCR, autocomplete, semantic parsing, and transliteration, and build on and refine existing datasets for other tasks. XTREME-UP provides methodology for evaluating many modeling scenarios including text-only, multi-modal (vision, audio, and text),supervised parameter tuning, and in-context learning. We evaluate commonly used models on the benchmark. We release all code and scripts to train and evaluate models
Salient Span Masking (SSM) has shown itself to be an effective strategy to improve closed-book question answering performance. SSM extends general masked language model pretraining by creating additional unsupervised training sentences that mask a single entity or date span, thus oversampling factual information. Despite the success of this paradigm, the span types and sampling strategies are relatively arbitrary and not widely studied for other tasks. Thus, we investigate SSM from the perspective of temporal tasks, where learning a good representation of various temporal expressions is important. To that end, we introduce Temporal Span Masking (TSM) intermediate training. First, we find that SSM alone improves the downstream performance on three temporal tasks by an avg. +5.8 points. Further, we are able to achieve additional improvements (avg. +0.29 points) by adding the TSM task. These comprise the new best reported results on the targeted tasks. Our analysis suggests that the effectiveness of SSM stems from the sentences chosen in the training data rather than the mask choice: sentences with entities frequently also contain temporal expressions. Nonetheless, the additional targeted spans of TSM can still improve performance, especially in a zero-shot context.
Recent research has revealed undesirable biases in NLP data and models. However, these efforts largely focus on social disparities in the West, and are not directly portable to other geo-cultural contexts. In this position paper, we outline a holistic research agenda to re-contextualize NLP fairness research for the Indian context, accounting for Indian societal context, bridging technological gaps in capability and resources, and adapting to Indian cultural values. We also summarize findings from an empirical study on various social biases along different axes of disparities relevant to India, demonstrating their prevalence in corpora and models.
New smartphone users have difficulty engaging with it and often use only a limited set of features like calling and messaging. These users are hesitant to explore using the smartphone and rely on experienced users to teach them how to use the phone. However, experienced users are not always around to guide them. To help new users learn how to use the phone on their own, we propose a natural language based instruction following agent that operates over the UI and shows the user how to perform various tasks. Common how-to questions, such as "How to block calls from unknown numbers?", are documented on support sites with a sequence of steps in natural language describing what the user should do. We parse these steps using Large Language Models (LLMs) and generate macros that can be executed on-device when the user asks a query. To evaluate this agent, we introduce UGIF-DataSet, a multi-lingual, multi-modal UI grounded dataset for step-by-step task completion on the smartphone. It contains 523 natural language instructions with paired sequences of multilingual UI screens and actions that show how to execute the task in eight languages. We compare the performance of different large language models including PaLM, GPT3, etc. and find that the end-to-end task completion success rate is 48% for English UI but the performance drops to 32% for non-English languages. We analyse the common failure modes of existing models on this task and point out areas for improvement.
Despite cross-lingual generalization demonstrated by pre-trained multilingual models, the translate-train paradigm of transferring English datasets across multiple languages remains to be the key ingredient for training task-specific multilingual models. However, for many low-resource languages, the availability of a reliable translation service entails significant amounts of costly human-annotated translation pairs. Further, the translation services for low-resource languages may continue to be brittle due to domain mismatch between the task-specific input text and the general-purpose text used while training the translation models. We consider the task of multilingual semantic parsing and demonstrate the effectiveness and flexibility offered by large language models (LLMs) for translating English datasets into several languages via few-shot prompting. We provide (i) Extensive comparisons with prior translate-train methods across 50 languages demonstrating that LLMs can serve as highly effective data translators, outperforming prior translation based methods on 40 out of 50 languages; (ii) A comprehensive study of the key design choices that enable effective data translation via prompted LLMs.
Recent years have witnessed much interest in temporal reasoning over knowledge graphs (KG) for complex question answering (QA), but there remains a substantial gap in human capabilities. We explore how to generalize relational graph convolutional networks (RGCN) for temporal KGQA. Specifically, we propose a novel, intuitive and interpretable scheme to modulate the messages passed through a KG edge during convolution, based on the relevance of its associated time period to the question. We also introduce a gating device to predict if the answer to a complex temporal question is likely to be a KG entity or time and use this prediction to guide our scoring mechanism. We evaluate the resulting system, which we call TwiRGCN, on TimeQuestions, a recently released, challenging dataset for multi-hop complex temporal QA. We show that TwiRGCN significantly outperforms state-of-the-art systems on this dataset across diverse question types. Notably, TwiRGCN improves accuracy by 9--10 percentage points for the most difficult ordinal and implicit question types.
Recent research has revealed undesirable bi-ases in NLP data and models. However, theseefforts focus of social disparities in West, andare not directly portable to other geo-culturalcontexts. In this paper, we focus on NLP fair-ness in the context of India. We start witha brief account of the prominent axes of so-cial disparities in India. We build resourcesfor fairness evaluation in the Indian contextand use them to demonstrate prediction bi-ases along some of the axes. We then delvedeeper into social stereotypes for Region andReligion, demonstrating its prevalence in cor-pora and models. Finally, we outline a holis-tic research agenda to re-contextualize NLPfairness research for the Indian context, ac-counting for Indiansocietal context, bridgingtechnologicalgaps in NLP capabilities and re-sources, and adapting to Indian culturalvalues.While we focus on India, this framework canbe generalized to other geo-cultural contexts.