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"chatbots": models, code, and papers

An In-depth Walkthrough on Evolution of Neural Machine Translation

Apr 10, 2020
Rohan Jagtap, Dr. Sudhir N. Dhage

Neural Machine Translation (NMT) methodologies have burgeoned from using simple feed-forward architectures to the state of the art; viz. BERT model. The use cases of NMT models have been broadened from just language translations to conversational agents (chatbots), abstractive text summarization, image captioning, etc. which have proved to be a gem in their respective applications. This paper aims to study the major trends in Neural Machine Translation, the state of the art models in the domain and a high level comparison between them.

* 10 pages, 10 figures 

The Second Conversational Intelligence Challenge (ConvAI2)

Jan 31, 2019
Emily Dinan, Varvara Logacheva, Valentin Malykh, Alexander Miller, Kurt Shuster, Jack Urbanek, Douwe Kiela, Arthur Szlam, Iulian Serban, Ryan Lowe, Shrimai Prabhumoye, Alan W Black, Alexander Rudnicky, Jason Williams, Joelle Pineau, Mikhail Burtsev, Jason Weston

We describe the setting and results of the ConvAI2 NeurIPS competition that aims to further the state-of-the-art in open-domain chatbots. Some key takeaways from the competition are: (i) pretrained Transformer variants are currently the best performing models on this task, (ii) but to improve performance on multi-turn conversations with humans, future systems must go beyond single word metrics like perplexity to measure the performance across sequences of utterances (conversations) -- in terms of repetition, consistency and balance of dialogue acts (e.g. how many questions asked vs. answered).


A New Framework for Machine Intelligence: Concepts and Prototype

Jun 06, 2018
Abel Torres Montoya

Machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) have become hot topics in many information processing areas, from chatbots to scientific data analysis. At the same time, there is uncertainty about the possibility of extending predominant ML technologies to become general solutions with continuous learning capabilities. Here, a simple, yet comprehensive, theoretical framework for intelligent systems is presented. A combination of Mirror Compositional Representations (MCR) and a Solution-Critic Loop (SCL) is proposed as a generic approach for different types of problems. A prototype implementation is presented for document comparison using English Wikipedia corpus.


Leaf: Multiple-Choice Question Generation

Jan 22, 2022
Kristiyan Vachev, Momchil Hardalov, Georgi Karadzhov, Georgi Georgiev, Ivan Koychev, Preslav Nakov

Testing with quiz questions has proven to be an effective way to assess and improve the educational process. However, manually creating quizzes is tedious and time-consuming. To address this challenge, we present Leaf, a system for generating multiple-choice questions from factual text. In addition to being very well suited for the classroom, Leaf could also be used in an industrial setting, e.g., to facilitate onboarding and knowledge sharing, or as a component of chatbots, question answering systems, or Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). The code and the demo are available on

* Accepted to ECIR 2022 (Demo) 

Automatic Article Commenting: the Task and Dataset

May 11, 2018
Lianhui Qin, Lemao Liu, Victoria Bi, Yan Wang, Xiaojiang Liu, Zhiting Hu, Hai Zhao, Shuming Shi

Comments of online articles provide extended views and improve user engagement. Automatically making comments thus become a valuable functionality for online forums, intelligent chatbots, etc. This paper proposes the new task of automatic article commenting, and introduces a large-scale Chinese dataset with millions of real comments and a human-annotated subset characterizing the comments' varying quality. Incorporating the human bias of comment quality, we further develop automatic metrics that generalize a broad set of popular reference-based metrics and exhibit greatly improved correlations with human evaluations.

* ACL2018; with supplements; Dataset link available in the paper 

KorQuAD1.0: Korean QA Dataset for Machine Reading Comprehension

Sep 17, 2019
Seungyoung Lim, Myungji Kim, Jooyoul Lee

Machine Reading Comprehension (MRC) is a task that requires machine to understand natural language and answer questions by reading a document. It is the core of automatic response technology such as chatbots and automatized customer supporting systems. We present Korean Question Answering Dataset(KorQuAD), a large-scale Korean dataset for extractive machine reading comprehension task. It consists of 70,000+ human generated question-answer pairs on Korean Wikipedia articles. We release KorQuAD1.0 and launch a challenge at to encourage the development of multilingual natural language processing research.


Incrementalizing RASA's Open-Source Natural Language Understanding Pipeline

Jul 11, 2019
Andrew Rafla, Casey Kennington

As spoken dialogue systems and chatbots are gaining more widespread adoption, commercial and open-sourced services for natural language understanding are emerging. In this paper, we explain how we altered the open-source RASA natural language understanding pipeline to process incrementally (i.e., word-by-word), following the incremental unit framework proposed by Schlangen and Skantze. To do so, we altered existing RASA components to process incrementally, and added an update-incremental intent recognition model as a component to RASA. Our evaluations on the Snips dataset show that our changes allow RASA to function as an effective incremental natural language understanding service.

* 5 pages, 1 figure 

Debbie, the Debate Bot of the Future

Sep 10, 2017
Geetanjali Rakshit, Kevin K. Bowden, Lena Reed, Amita Misra, Marilyn Walker

Chatbots are a rapidly expanding application of dialogue systems with companies switching to bot services for customer support, and new applications for users interested in casual conversation. One style of casual conversation is argument, many people love nothing more than a good argument. Moreover, there are a number of existing corpora of argumentative dialogues, annotated for agreement and disagreement, stance, sarcasm and argument quality. This paper introduces Debbie, a novel arguing bot, that selects arguments from conversational corpora, and aims to use them appropriately in context. We present an initial working prototype of Debbie, with some preliminary evaluation and describe future work.

* IWSDS 2017 

A Neural Entity Coreference Resolution Review

Oct 21, 2019
Nikolaos Stylianou, Ioannis Vlahavas

Entity Coreference Resolution is the task of resolving all the mentions in a document that refer to the same real world entity and is considered as one of the most difficult tasks in natural language understanding. While in it is not an end task, it has been proved to improve downstream natural language processing tasks such as entity linking, machine translation, summarization and chatbots. We conducted a systematic a review of neural-based approached and provide a detailed appraisal of the datasets and evaluation metrics in the field. Emphasis is given on Pronoun Resolution, a subtask of Coreference Resolution, which has seen various improvements in the recent years. We conclude the study by highlight the lack of agreed upon standards and propose a way to expand the task even further.


COVID-Twitter-BERT: A Natural Language Processing Model to Analyse COVID-19 Content on Twitter

May 15, 2020
Martin Müller, Marcel Salathé, Per E Kummervold

In this work, we release COVID-Twitter-BERT (CT-BERT), a transformer-based model, pretrained on a large corpus of Twitter messages on the topic of COVID-19. Our model shows a 10-30% marginal improvement compared to its base model, BERT-Large, on five different classification datasets. The largest improvements are on the target domain. Pretrained transformer models, such as CT-BERT, are trained on a specific target domain and can be used for a wide variety of natural language processing tasks, including classification, question-answering and chatbots. CT-BERT is optimised to be used on COVID-19 content, in particular social media posts from Twitter.