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Neural Natural Language Generation: A Survey on Multilinguality, Multimodality, Controllability and Learning

Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research

Developing artificial learning systems that can understand and generate natural language has been one of the long-standing goals of artificial intelligence. Recent decades have witnessed an impressive progress on both of these problems, giving rise to a new family of approaches. Especially, the advances in deep learning over the past couple of years have led to neural approaches to natural language generation (NLG). These methods combine generative language learning techniques with neural-networks based frameworks. With a wide range of applications in natural language processing, neural NLG (NNLG) is a new and fast growing field of research. In this state-of-the-art report, we investigate the recent developments and applications of NNLG in its full extent from a multidimensional view, covering critical perspectives such as multimodality, multilinguality, controllability and learning strategies. We summarize the fundamental building blocks of NNLG approaches from these aspects and provide detailed reviews of commonly used preprocessing steps and basic neural architectures. This report also focuses on the seminal applications of these NNLG models such as machine translation, description generation, automatic speech recognition, abstractive summarization, text simplification, question answering and generation, and dialogue generation. Finally, we conclude with a thorough discussion of the described frameworks by pointing out some open research directions.


A Wave Of Billion-Dollar Language AI Startups Is Coming

#artificialintelligence

In 1998, Larry Page and Sergey Brin founded the greatest language AI startup of all time. But a new ... [ ] generation of challengers is coming. Language is at the heart of human intelligence. It therefore is and must be at the heart of our efforts to build artificial intelligence. No sophisticated AI can exist without mastery of language. The field of language AI--also referred to as natural language processing, or NLP--has undergone breathtaking, unprecedented advances over the past few years. Two related technology breakthroughs have driven this remarkable recent progress: self-supervised learning and a powerful new deep learning architecture known as the transformer. We now stand at an exhilarating inflection point. Next-generation language AI is poised to make the leap from academic research to widespread real-world adoption, generating many billions of dollars of value and transforming entire industries in the years ahead. A nascent ecosystem of startups is at the vanguard of this technology revolution. These companies have begun to apply cutting-edge NLP across sectors with a wide range of different product visions and business models. Given language's foundational importance throughout society and the economy, few areas of technology will have a more far-reaching impact in the years ahead. The first category of language AI startups worth discussing is those players that develop and make available core general-purpose NLP technology for other organizations to apply across industries and use cases. Building a state-of-the-art NLP model today is incredibly resource-intensive and technically challenging.


A Wave Of Billion-Dollar Language AI Startups Is Coming

#artificialintelligence

In 1998, Larry Page and Sergey Brin founded the greatest language AI startup of all time. But a new ... [ ] generation of challengers is coming. Language is at the heart of human intelligence. It therefore is and must be at the heart of our efforts to build artificial intelligence. No sophisticated AI can exist without mastery of language. The field of language AI--also referred to as natural language processing, or NLP--has undergone breathtaking, unprecedented advances over the past few years. Two related technology breakthroughs have driven this remarkable recent progress: self-supervised learning and a powerful new deep learning architecture known as the transformer. We now stand at an exhilarating inflection point. Next-generation language AI is poised to make the leap from academic research to widespread real-world adoption, generating many billions of dollars of value and transforming entire industries in the years ahead. A nascent ecosystem of startups is at the vanguard of this technology revolution. These companies have begun to apply cutting-edge NLP across sectors with a wide range of different product visions and business models. Given language's foundational importance throughout society and the economy, few areas of technology will have a more far-reaching impact in the years ahead. The first category of language AI startups worth discussing is those players that develop and make available core general-purpose NLP technology for other organizations to apply across industries and use cases. Building a state-of-the-art NLP model today is incredibly resource-intensive and technically challenging.


What You Never Knew About Attention Mechanisms

#artificialintelligence

This blog is written and maintained by students in the Master of Science in Professional Computer Science Program at Simon Fraser University as part of their course credit. To learn more about this unique program, please visit {sfu.ca/computing/mpcs}. Where are your eyes drawn to in this photo? Most of us will admit that our eyes are drawn to the blue duckling. To humans, the blue duckling sticks out like a sore thumb.


FedQAS: Privacy-aware machine reading comprehension with federated learning

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Machine reading comprehension (MRC) of text data is one important task in Natural Language Understanding. It is a complex NLP problem with a lot of ongoing research fueled by the release of the Stanford Question Answering Dataset (SQuAD) and Conversational Question Answering (CoQA). It is considered to be an effort to teach computers how to "understand" a text, and then to be able to answer questions about it using deep learning. However, until now large-scale training on private text data and knowledge sharing has been missing for this NLP task. Hence, we present FedQAS, a privacy-preserving machine reading system capable of leveraging large-scale private data without the need to pool those datasets in a central location. The proposed approach combines transformer models and federated learning technologies. The system is developed using the FEDn framework and deployed as a proof-of-concept alliance initiative. FedQAS is flexible, language-agnostic, and allows intuitive participation and execution of local model training. In addition, we present the architecture and implementation of the system, as well as provide a reference evaluation based on the SQUAD dataset, to showcase how it overcomes data privacy issues and enables knowledge sharing between alliance members in a Federated learning setting.


Alkhatib

AAAI Conferences

The task of transliteration of named entities from one language into another is complicated and considered as one of the challenging tasks in machine translation (MT). To build a well performed transliteration system, we apply well-established techniques based on Hybrid Deep Learning. The system based on convolutional neural network (CNN) followed by Bi-LSTM and CRF. The proposed hybrid mechanism is examined on ANERCorp and Kalimat corpus. The results show that the neural machine translation approach can be employed to build efficient machine transliteration systems achieving state-of-the-art results for Arabic – English language.


Conversational Agents: Theory and Applications

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

In this chapter, we provide a review of conversational agents (CAs), discussing chatbots, intended for casual conversation with a user, as well as task-oriented agents that generally engage in discussions intended to reach one or several specific goals, often (but not always) within a specific domain. We also consider the concept of embodied conversational agents, briefly reviewing aspects such as character animation and speech processing. The many different approaches for representing dialogue in CAs are discussed in some detail, along with methods for evaluating such agents, emphasizing the important topics of accountability and interpretability. A brief historical overview is given, followed by an extensive overview of various applications, especially in the fields of health and education. We end the chapter by discussing benefits and potential risks regarding the societal impact of current and future CA technology.


Fast Monte-Carlo Approximation of the Attention Mechanism

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

We introduce Monte-Carlo Attention (MCA), a randomized approximation method for reducing the computational cost of self-attention mechanisms in Transformer architectures. MCA exploits the fact that the importance of each token in an input sequence varies with respect to their attention scores; thus, some degree of error can be tolerable when encoding tokens with low attention. Using approximate matrix multiplication, MCA applies different error bounds to encode input tokens such that those with low attention scores are computed with relaxed precision, whereas errors of salient elements are minimized. MCA can operate in parallel with other attention optimization schemes and does not require model modification. We study the theoretical error bounds and demonstrate that MCA reduces attention complexity (in FLOPS) for various Transformer models by up to 11$\times$ in GLUE benchmarks without compromising model accuracy.


Diagnosing AI Explanation Methods with Folk Concepts of Behavior

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

When explaining AI behavior to humans, how is the communicated information being comprehended by the human explainee, and does it match what the explanation attempted to communicate? When can we say that an explanation is explaining something? We aim to provide an answer by leveraging theory of mind literature about the folk concepts that humans use to understand behavior. We establish a framework of social attribution by the human explainee, which describes the function of explanations: the concrete information that humans comprehend from them. Specifically, effective explanations should be coherent (communicate information which generalizes to other contrast cases), complete (communicating an explicit contrast case, objective causes, and subjective causes), and interactive (surfacing and resolving contradictions to the generalization property through iterations). We demonstrate that many XAI mechanisms can be mapped to folk concepts of behavior. This allows us to uncover their modes of failure that prevent current methods from explaining effectively, and what is necessary to enable coherent explanations.


An Empirical Study on the Overlapping Problem of Open-Domain Dialogue Datasets

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Open-domain dialogue systems aim to converse with humans through text, and its research has heavily relied on benchmark datasets. In this work, we first identify the overlapping problem in DailyDialog and OpenSubtitles, two popular open-domain dialogue benchmark datasets. Our systematic analysis then shows that such overlapping can be exploited to obtain fake state-of-the-art performance. Finally, we address this issue by cleaning these datasets and setting up a proper data processing procedure for future research.