Claytone Sikasote


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BIG-C: a Multimodal Multi-Purpose Dataset for Bemba
Claytone Sikasote | Eunice Mukonde | Md Mahfuz Ibn Alam | Antonios Anastasopoulos
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

We present BIG-C (Bemba Image Grounded Conversations), a large multimodal dataset for Bemba. While Bemba is the most populous language of Zambia, it exhibits a dearth of resources which render the development of language technologies or language processing research almost impossible. The dataset is comprised of multi-turn dialogues between Bemba speakers based on images, transcribed and translated into English. There are more than 92,000 utterances/sentences, amounting to more than 180 hours of audio data with corresponding transcriptions and English translations. We also provide baselines on speech recognition (ASR), machine translation (MT) and speech translation (ST) tasks, and sketch out other potential future multimodal uses of our dataset. We hope that by making the dataset available to the research community, this work will foster research and encourage collaboration across the language, speech, and vision communities especially for languages outside the “traditionally” used high-resourced ones. All data and code are publicly available: [](


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BembaSpeech: A Speech Recognition Corpus for the Bemba Language
Claytone Sikasote | Antonios Anastasopoulos
Proceedings of the Thirteenth Language Resources and Evaluation Conference

We present a preprocessed, ready-to-use automatic speech recognition corpus, BembaSpeech, consisting over 24 hours of read speech in the Bemba language, a written but low-resourced language spoken by over 30% of the population in Zambia. To assess its usefulness for training and testing ASR systems for Bemba, we explored different approaches; supervised pre-training (training from scratch), cross-lingual transfer learning from a monolingual English pre-trained model using DeepSpeech on the portion of the dataset and fine-tuning large scale self-supervised Wav2Vec2.0 based multilingual pre-trained models on the complete BembaSpeech corpus. From our experiments, the 1 billion XLS-R parameter model gives the best results. The model achieves a word error rate (WER) of 32.91%, results demonstrating that model capacity significantly improves performance and that multilingual pre-trained models transfers cross-lingual acoustic representation better than monolingual pre-trained English model on the BembaSpeech for the Bemba ASR. Lastly, results also show that the corpus can be used for building ASR systems for Bemba language.

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Quality at a Glance: An Audit of Web-Crawled Multilingual Datasets
Julia Kreutzer | Isaac Caswell | Lisa Wang | Ahsan Wahab | Daan van Esch | Nasanbayar Ulzii-Orshikh | Allahsera Tapo | Nishant Subramani | Artem Sokolov | Claytone Sikasote | Monang Setyawan | Supheakmungkol Sarin | Sokhar Samb | Benoît Sagot | Clara Rivera | Annette Rios | Isabel Papadimitriou | Salomey Osei | Pedro Ortiz Suarez | Iroro Orife | Kelechi Ogueji | Andre Niyongabo Rubungo | Toan Q. Nguyen | Mathias Müller | André Müller | Shamsuddeen Hassan Muhammad | Nanda Muhammad | Ayanda Mnyakeni | Jamshidbek Mirzakhalov | Tapiwanashe Matangira | Colin Leong | Nze Lawson | Sneha Kudugunta | Yacine Jernite | Mathias Jenny | Orhan Firat | Bonaventure F. P. Dossou | Sakhile Dlamini | Nisansa de Silva | Sakine Çabuk Ballı | Stella Biderman | Alessia Battisti | Ahmed Baruwa | Ankur Bapna | Pallavi Baljekar | Israel Abebe Azime | Ayodele Awokoya | Duygu Ataman | Orevaoghene Ahia | Oghenefego Ahia | Sweta Agrawal | Mofetoluwa Adeyemi
Transactions of the Association for Computational Linguistics, Volume 10

With the success of large-scale pre-training and multilingual modeling in Natural Language Processing (NLP), recent years have seen a proliferation of large, Web-mined text datasets covering hundreds of languages. We manually audit the quality of 205 language-specific corpora released with five major public datasets (CCAligned, ParaCrawl, WikiMatrix, OSCAR, mC4). Lower-resource corpora have systematic issues: At least 15 corpora have no usable text, and a significant fraction contains less than 50% sentences of acceptable quality. In addition, many are mislabeled or use nonstandard/ambiguous language codes. We demonstrate that these issues are easy to detect even for non-proficient speakers, and supplement the human audit with automatic analyses. Finally, we recommend techniques to evaluate and improve multilingual corpora and discuss potential risks that come with low-quality data releases.