Collaborating Authors

Machine Translation: Overviews

Continual Lifelong Learning in Natural Language Processing: A Survey Artificial Intelligence

Continual learning (CL) aims to enable information systems to learn from a continuous data stream across time. However, it is difficult for existing deep learning architectures to learn a new task without largely forgetting previously acquired knowledge. Furthermore, CL is particularly challenging for language learning, as natural language is ambiguous: it is discrete, compositional, and its meaning is context-dependent. In this work, we look at the problem of CL through the lens of various NLP tasks. Our survey discusses major challenges in CL and current methods applied in neural network models. We also provide a critical review of the existing CL evaluation methods and datasets in NLP.

Multilingual Evidence Retrieval and Fact Verification to Combat Global Disinformation: The Power of Polyglotism Artificial Intelligence

This article investigates multilingual evidence retrieval and claim verification as a step to combat global disinformation, a first effort of this kind, to the best of our knowledge. A 400 example mixed language English-Romanian dataset is created for cross-lingual transfer learning evaluation. We make code, datasets, and trained models available upon publication.

ParsiNLU: A Suite of Language Understanding Challenges for Persian Artificial Intelligence

Despite the progress made in recent years in addressing natural language understanding (NLU) challenges, the majority of this progress remains to be concentrated on resource-rich languages like English. This work focuses on Persian language, one of the widely spoken languages in the world, and yet there are few NLU datasets available for this rich language. The availability of high-quality evaluation datasets is a necessity for reliable assessment of the progress on different NLU tasks and domains. We introduce ParsiNLU, the first benchmark in Persian language that includes a range of high-level tasks -- Reading Comprehension, Textual Entailment, etc. These datasets are collected in a multitude of ways, often involving manual annotations by native speakers. This results in over 14.5$k$ new instances across 6 distinct NLU tasks. Besides, we present the first results on state-of-the-art monolingual and multi-lingual pre-trained language-models on this benchmark and compare them with human performance, which provides valuable insights into our ability to tackle natural language understanding challenges in Persian. We hope ParsiNLU fosters further research and advances in Persian language understanding.

AGenT Zero: Zero-shot Automatic Multiple-Choice Question Generation for Skill Assessments Artificial Intelligence

Multiple-choice questions (MCQs) offer the most promising avenue for skill evaluation in the era of virtual education and job recruiting, where traditional performance-based alternatives such as projects and essays have become less viable, and grading resources are constrained. The automated generation of MCQs would allow assessment creation at scale. Recent advances in natural language processing have given rise to many complex question generation methods. However, the few methods that produce deployable results in specific domains require a large amount of domain-specific training data that can be very costly to acquire. Our work provides an initial foray into MCQ generation under high data-acquisition cost scenarios by strategically emphasizing paraphrasing the question context (compared to the task). In addition to maintaining semantic similarity between the question-answer pairs, our pipeline, which we call AGenT Zero, consists of only pre-trained models and requires no fine-tuning, minimizing data acquisition costs for question generation. AGenT Zero successfully outperforms other pre-trained methods in fluency and semantic similarity. Additionally, with some small changes, our assessment pipeline can be generalized to a broader question and answer space, including short answer or fill in the blank questions.

Empowering Things with Intelligence: A Survey of the Progress, Challenges, and Opportunities in Artificial Intelligence of Things Artificial Intelligence

In the Internet of Things (IoT) era, billions of sensors and devices collect and process data from the environment, transmit them to cloud centers, and receive feedback via the internet for connectivity and perception. However, transmitting massive amounts of heterogeneous data, perceiving complex environments from these data, and then making smart decisions in a timely manner are difficult. Artificial intelligence (AI), especially deep learning, is now a proven success in various areas including computer vision, speech recognition, and natural language processing. AI introduced into the IoT heralds the era of artificial intelligence of things (AIoT). This paper presents a comprehensive survey on AIoT to show how AI can empower the IoT to make it faster, smarter, greener, and safer. Specifically, we briefly present the AIoT architecture in the context of cloud computing, fog computing, and edge computing. Then, we present progress in AI research for IoT from four perspectives: perceiving, learning, reasoning, and behaving. Next, we summarize some promising applications of AIoT that are likely to profoundly reshape our world. Finally, we highlight the challenges facing AIoT and some potential research opportunities.

TransQuest: Translation Quality Estimation with Cross-lingual Transformers Artificial Intelligence

Recent years have seen big advances in the field of sentence-level quality estimation (QE), largely as a result of using neural-based architectures. However, the majority of these methods work only on the language pair they are trained on and need retraining for new language pairs. This process can prove difficult from a technical point of view and is usually computationally expensive. In this paper we propose a simple QE framework based on cross-lingual transformers, and we use it to implement and evaluate two different neural architectures. Our evaluation shows that the proposed methods achieve state-of-the-art results outperforming current open-source quality estimation frameworks when trained on datasets from WMT. In addition, the framework proves very useful in transfer learning settings, especially when dealing with low-resourced languages, allowing us to obtain very competitive results.

Fusion Models for Improved Visual Captioning Artificial Intelligence

Visual captioning aims to generate textual descriptions given images. Traditionally, the captioning models are trained on human annotated datasets such as Flickr30k and MS-COCO, which are limited in size and diversity. This limitation hinders the generalization capabilities of these models while also rendering them to often make mistakes. Language models can, however, be trained on vast amounts of freely available unlabelled data and have recently emerged as successful language encoders and coherent text generators. Meanwhile, several unimodal and multimodal fusion techniques have been proven to work well for natural language generation and automatic speech recognition. Building on these recent developments, and with an aim of improving the quality of generated captions, the contribution of our work in this paper is two-fold: First, we propose a generic multimodal model fusion framework for caption generation as well as emendation where we utilize different fusion strategies to integrate a pretrained Auxiliary Language Model (AuxLM) within the traditional encoder-decoder visual captioning frameworks. Next, we employ the same fusion strategies to integrate a pretrained Masked Language Model (MLM), namely BERT, with a visual captioning model, viz. Show, Attend, and Tell, for emending both syntactic and semantic errors in captions. Our caption emendation experiments on three benchmark image captioning datasets, viz. Flickr8k, Flickr30k, and MSCOCO, show improvements over the baseline, indicating the usefulness of our proposed multimodal fusion strategies. Further, we perform a preliminary qualitative analysis on the emended captions and identify error categories based on the type of corrections.

A Survey of Embedding Space Alignment Methods for Language and Knowledge Graphs Artificial Intelligence

The purpose of this survey is to explore the core techniques and categorizations of methods for aligning low-dimensional embedding spaces. Projecting sparse, high-dimensional data sets into compact, lower-dimensional spaces allows not only for a significant reduction in storage space, but also builds dense representations with many applications. These embedding spaces have become a staple in representation learning ever since their heralded application to natural language in a technique called word2vec, and have replaced traditional machine learning features as easy-to-build, high-quality representations of the source objects. There has been a wealth of study around techniques for embedding objects, such as images, natural language and knowledge graphs, and many research agendas focused on mapping one embedding space to another, either for the purpose of aligning and unifying to a common space, applications to joint downstream tasks or ease of transfer learning. In order to fully leverage these dense representations and translate them across domains and problem spaces, techniques for establishing alignments between them must be developed and understood.

Word Shape Matters: Robust Machine Translation with Visual Embedding Artificial Intelligence

Neural machine translation has achieved remarkable empirical performance over standard benchmark datasets, yet recent evidence suggests that the models can still fail easily dealing with substandard inputs such as misspelled words, To overcome this issue, we introduce a new encoding heuristic of the input symbols for character-level NLP models: it encodes the shape of each character through the images depicting the letters when printed. We name this new strategy visual embedding and it is expected to improve the robustness of NLP models because humans also process the corpus visually through printed letters, instead of machinery one-hot vectors. Empirically, our method improves models' robustness against substandard inputs, even in the test scenario where the models are tested with the noises that are beyond what is available during the training phase.

With Little Power Comes Great Responsibility Artificial Intelligence

Despite its importance to experimental design, statistical power (the probability that, given a real effect, an experiment will reject the null hypothesis) has largely been ignored by the NLP community. Underpowered experiments make it more difficult to discern the difference between statistical noise and meaningful model improvements, and increase the chances of exaggerated findings. By meta-analyzing a set of existing NLP papers and datasets, we characterize typical power for a variety of settings and conclude that underpowered experiments are common in the NLP literature. In particular, for several tasks in the popular GLUE benchmark, small test sets mean that most attempted comparisons to state of the art models will not be adequately powered. Similarly, based on reasonable assumptions, we find that the most typical experimental design for human rating studies will be underpowered to detect small model differences, of the sort that are frequently studied. For machine translation, we find that typical test sets of 2000 sentences have approximately 75% power to detect differences of 1 BLEU point. To improve the situation going forward, we give an overview of best practices for power analysis in NLP and release a series of notebooks to assist with future power analyses.