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NLP Highlights

NLP Highlights

Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence

Welcome to the NLP highlights podcast, where we invite researchers to talk about their work in various areas in natural language processing. The hosts are the members of the AllenNLP team at Allen Institute for AI. All views expressed belong to the hosts and guests and do not represent their employers.

128 - 127 - Masakhane and Participatory Research for African Languages, with Tosin Adewumi and Perez Ogayo
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  • 128 - 127 - Masakhane and Participatory Research for African Languages, with Tosin Adewumi and Perez Ogayo

    We invited members of Masakhane, Tosin Adewumi and Perez Ogayo, to talk about their EMNLP Findings paper that discusses why typical research is limited for low-resourced NLP and how participatory research can help.   As a result of participatory research, Masakhane has many, many success stories: first datasets and benchmarks in African languages, first research on human evaluation specifically for MT for low-resource languages, etc. In this episode, we talked about one of them—MasakhaNER—in more detail. The hosts for this episode are Pradeep Dasigi and Ana Marasović. -------------------------- Tosin Adewumi is a PhD student at the Luleå University of Technology in Sweden. His Twitter handle: @tosintwit Perez Ogayo is an undergrad student at the African Leadership University in Rwanda. Her Twitter handle: @a_ogayo Masakhane is a grassroots organization whose mission is to strengthen and spur NLP research in African languages, for Africans, by Africans: https://www.masakhane.io/ Participatory Research for Low-resourced Machine Translation: A Case Study in African Languages (Findings of EMNLP 2020): https://arxiv.org/abs/2010.02353 MasakhaNER: Named Entity Recognition for African languages (AfricaNLP Workshop @ EACL 2021): https://arxiv.org/abs/2103.11811

    Tue, 08 Jun 2021 - 47min
  • 127 - 126 - Optimizing Continuous Prompts for Generation, with Lisa Li

    We invited Lisa Li to talk about her recent work, Prefix-Tuning: Optimizing Continuous Prompts for Generation. Prefix tuning is a lightweight alternative to finetuning, and the idea is to tune only a fixed-length task-specific continuous vector, and to keep the pretrained transformer parameters frozen. We discussed how prefix tuning compares with finetuning and other efficient alternatives on two tasks in various experimental settings, and in what scenarios prefix tuning is preferable. Lisa is a Phd student at Stanford University. Lisa's webpage: https://xiangli1999.github.io/ The hosts for this episode are Pradeep Dasigi and Ana Marasović.

    Mon, 24 May 2021 - 47min
  • 126 - 125 - VQA for Real Users, with Danna Gurari

    How can we build Visual Question Answering systems for real users? For this episode, we chatted with Danna Gurari, about her work in building datasets and models towards VQA for people who are blind. We talked about the differences between the existing datasets, and Vizwiz, a dataset built by Gurari et al., and the resulting algorithmic changes. We also discussed the unsolved challenges in this field, and the new tasks they result in. Danna Gurari is an Assistant Professor as well as Founding Director of the Image and Video Computing group in the School of Information at University of Texas at Austin (UT-Austin). Vizwiz project page: https://vizwiz.org/ The hosts for this episode are Ana Marasović and Pradeep Dasigi.

    Tue, 04 May 2021 - 42min
  • 125 - 124 - Semantic Machines and Task-Oriented Dialog, with Jayant Krishnamurthy and Hao Fang

    We invited Jayant Krishnamurthy and Hao Fang, researchers at Microsoft Semantic Machines to discuss their platform for building task-oriented dialog systems, and their recent TACL paper on the topic. The paper introduces a new formalism for task-oriented dialog to effectively handle references and revisions in complex dialog, and a large realistic dataset that uses this formalism. Leaderboard associated with the dataset: https://microsoft.github.io/task_oriented_dialogue_as_dataflow_synthesis/ Jayant's Twitter handle: https://twitter.com/jayantkrish Hao's Twitter handle: https://twitter.com/hfang90

    Wed, 14 Apr 2021 - 45min
  • 124 - 123 - Robust NLP, with Robin Jia

    In this episode, Robin Jia talks about how to build robust NLP systems. We discuss the different senses in which a system can be robust, reasons to care about system robustness, and the challenges involved in evaluating robustness of NLP models. We talk about how to build certifiably robust models through interval bound propagation and discrete encoding functions, as well as how to modify data collection procedures through active learning for more robust model development. Robin Jia is currently a visiting researcher at Facebook AI Research, and will be an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Southern California starting Fall 2021.

    Mon, 05 Apr 2021 - 47min
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