Automatic evaluation of open-domain dialogs remains an unsolved problem. Moreover, existing methods do not correlate strongly with human annotations. This paper presents a new automated evaluation method using follow-ups: we measure the probability that a language model will continue the conversation with a fixed set of follow-ups (e.g., not really relevant here, what are you trying to say). When compared against twelve existing methods, our new evaluation achieves the highest correlation with human evaluations.
We present CoNTACT: a Dutch language model adapted to the domain of COVID-19 tweets. The model was developed by continuing the pre-training phase of RobBERT (Delobelle, 2020) by using 2.8M Dutch COVID-19 related tweets posted in 2021. In order to test the performance of the model and compare it to RobBERT, the two models were tested on two tasks: (1) binary vaccine hesitancy detection and (2) detection of arguments for vaccine hesitancy. For both tasks, not only Twitter but also Facebook data was used to show cross-genre performance. In our experiments, CoNTACT showed statistically significant gains over RobBERT in all experiments for task 1. For task 2, we observed substantial improvements in virtually all classes in all experiments. An error analysis indicated that the domain adaptation yielded better representations of domain-specific terminology, causing CoNTACT to make more accurate classification decisions.
A limited amount of studies investigates the role of model-agnostic adversarial behavior in toxic content classification. As toxicity classifiers predominantly rely on lexical cues, (deliberately) creative and evolving language-use can be detrimental to the utility of current corpora and state-of-the-art models when they are deployed for content moderation. The less training data is available, the more vulnerable models might become. This study is, to our knowledge, the first to investigate the effect of adversarial behavior and augmentation for cyberbullying detection. We demonstrate that model-agnostic lexical substitutions significantly hurt classifier performance. Moreover, when these perturbed samples are used for augmentation, we show models become robust against word-level perturbations at a slight trade-off in overall task performance. Augmentations proposed in prior work on toxicity prove to be less effective. Our results underline the need for such evaluations in online harm areas with small corpora. The perturbed data, models, and code are available for reproduction at https://github.com/cmry/augtox
In this paper, we present the first multilingual FAQ dataset publicly available. We collected around 6M FAQ pairs from the web, in 21 different languages. Although this is significantly larger than existing FAQ retrieval datasets, it comes with its own challenges: duplication of content and uneven distribution of topics. We adopt a similar setup as Dense Passage Retrieval (DPR) and test various bi-encoders on this dataset. Our experiments reveal that a multilingual model based on XLM-RoBERTa achieves the best results, except for English. Lower resources languages seem to learn from one another as a multilingual model achieves a higher MRR than language-specific ones. Our qualitative analysis reveals the brittleness of the model on simple word changes. We publicly release our dataset, model and training script.
Knowledge Grounded Conversation Models (KGCM) are usually based on a selection/retrieval module and a generation module, trained separately or simultaneously, with or without having access to a gold knowledge option. With the introduction of large pre-trained generative models, the selection and generation part have become more and more entangled, shifting the focus towards enhancing knowledge incorporation (from multiple sources) instead of trying to pick the best knowledge option. These approaches however depend on knowledge labels and/or a separate dense retriever for their best performance. In this work we study the unsupervised selection abilities of pre-trained generative models (e.g. BART) and show that by adding a score-and-aggregate module between encoder and decoder, they are capable of learning to pick the proper knowledge through minimising the language modelling loss (i.e. without having access to knowledge labels). Trained as such, our model - K-Mine - shows competitive selection and generation performance against models that benefit from knowledge labels and/or separate dense retriever.
Knowledgeable FAQ chatbots are a valuable resource to any organization. Unlike traditional call centers or FAQ web pages, they provide instant responses and are always available. Our experience running a COVID19 chatbot revealed the lack of resources available for FAQ answering in non-English languages. While powerful and efficient retrieval-based models exist for English, it is rarely the case for other languages which do not have the same amount of training data available. In this work, we propose a novel pretaining procedure to adapt ConveRT, an English SOTA conversational agent, to other languages with less training data available. We apply it for the first time to the task of Dutch FAQ answering related to the COVID19 vaccine. We show it performs better than an open-source alternative in a low-data regime and high-data regime.
Neural machine translation (NMT) is nowadays commonly applied at the subword level, using byte-pair encoding. A promising alternative approach focuses on character-level translation, which simplifies processing pipelines in NMT considerably. This approach, however, must consider relatively longer sequences, rendering the training process prohibitively expensive. In this paper, we discuss a novel, Transformer-based approach, that we compare, both in speed and in quality to the Transformer at subword and character levels, as well as previously developed character-level models. We evaluate our models on 4 language pairs from WMT'15: DE-EN, CS-EN, FI-EN and RU-EN. The proposed novel architecture can be trained on a single GPU and is 34% percent faster than the character-level Transformer; still, the obtained results are at least on par with it. In addition, our proposed model outperforms the subword-level model in FI-EN and shows close results in CS-EN. To stimulate further research in this area and close the gap with subword-level NMT, we make all our code and models publicly available.
Several previous studies on explanation for recurrent neural networks focus on approaches that find the most important input segments for a network as its explanations. In that case, the manner in which these input segments combine with each other to form an explanatory pattern remains unknown. To overcome this, some previous work tries to find patterns (called rules) in the data that explain neural outputs. However, their explanations are often insensitive to model parameters, which limits the scalability of text explanations. To overcome these limitations, we propose a pipeline to explain RNNs by means of decision lists (also called rules) over skipgrams. For evaluation of explanations, we create a synthetic sepsis-identification dataset, as well as apply our technique on additional clinical and sentiment analysis datasets. We find that our technique persistently achieves high explanation fidelity and qualitatively interpretable rules.
Multilingualism is a cultural cornerstone of Europe and firmly anchored in the European treaties including full language equality. However, language barriers impacting business, cross-lingual and cross-cultural communication are still omnipresent. Language Technologies (LTs) are a powerful means to break down these barriers. While the last decade has seen various initiatives that created a multitude of approaches and technologies tailored to Europe's specific needs, there is still an immense level of fragmentation. At the same time, AI has become an increasingly important concept in the European Information and Communication Technology area. For a few years now, AI, including many opportunities, synergies but also misconceptions, has been overshadowing every other topic. We present an overview of the European LT landscape, describing funding programmes, activities, actions and challenges in the different countries with regard to LT, including the current state of play in industry and the LT market. We present a brief overview of the main LT-related activities on the EU level in the last ten years and develop strategic guidance with regard to four key dimensions.