Connor Baumler


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Recognition of They/Them as Singular Personal Pronouns in Coreference Resolution
Connor Baumler | Rachel Rudinger
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

As using they/them as personal pronouns becomes increasingly common in English, it is important that coreference resolution systems work as well for individuals who use personal “they” as they do for those who use gendered personal pronouns. We introduce a new benchmark for coreference resolution systems which evaluates singular personal “they” recognition. Using these WinoNB schemas, we evaluate a number of publicly available coreference resolution systems and confirm their bias toward resolving “they” pronouns as plural.

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Hybrid Semantics for Goal-Directed Natural Language Generation
Connor Baumler | Soumya Ray
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

We consider the problem of generating natural language given a communicative goal and a world description. We ask the question: is it possible to combine complementary meaning representations to scale a goal-directed NLG system without losing expressiveness? In particular, we consider using two meaning representations, one based on logical semantics and the other based on distributional semantics. We build upon an existing goal-directed generation system, S-STRUCT, which models sentence generation as planning in a Markov decision process. We develop a hybrid approach, which uses distributional semantics to quickly and imprecisely add the main elements of the sentence and then uses first-order logic based semantics to more slowly add the precise details. We find that our hybrid method allows S-STRUCT’s generation to scale significantly better in early phases of generation and that the hybrid can often generate sentences with the same quality as S-STRUCT in substantially less time. However, we also observe and give insight into cases where the imprecision in distributional semantics leads to generation that is not as good as using pure logical semantics.