From Masked Language Modeling to Translation: Non-English Auxiliary Tasks Improve Zero-shot Spoken Language Understanding

Rob van der Goot, Ibrahim Sharaf, Aizhan Imankulova, Ahmet Üstün, Marija Stepanović, Alan Ramponi, Siti Oryza Khairunnisa, Mamoru Komachi, Barbara Plank


Abstract
The lack of publicly available evaluation data for low-resource languages limits progress in Spoken Language Understanding (SLU). As key tasks like intent classification and slot filling require abundant training data, it is desirable to reuse existing data in high-resource languages to develop models for low-resource scenarios. We introduce xSID, a new benchmark for cross-lingual (x) Slot and Intent Detection in 13 languages from 6 language families, including a very low-resource dialect. To tackle the challenge, we propose a joint learning approach, with English SLU training data and non-English auxiliary tasks from raw text, syntax and translation for transfer. We study two setups which differ by type and language coverage of the pre-trained embeddings. Our results show that jointly learning the main tasks with masked language modeling is effective for slots, while machine translation transfer works best for intent classification.
Anthology ID:
2021.naacl-main.197
Volume:
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies
Month:
June
Year:
2021
Address:
Online
Venue:
NAACL
SIG:
Publisher:
Association for Computational Linguistics
Note:
Pages:
2479–2497
Language:
URL:
https://aclanthology.org/2021.naacl-main.197
DOI:
10.18653/v1/2021.naacl-main.197
Bibkey:
Copy Citation:
PDF:
https://aclanthology.org/2021.naacl-main.197.pdf