J. A. Meaney


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SemEval 2021 Task 7: HaHackathon, Detecting and Rating Humor and Offense
J. A. Meaney | Steven Wilson | Luis Chiruzzo | Adam Lopez | Walid Magdy
Proceedings of the 15th International Workshop on Semantic Evaluation (SemEval-2021)

SemEval 2021 Task 7, HaHackathon, was the first shared task to combine the previously separate domains of humor detection and offense detection. We collected 10,000 texts from Twitter and the Kaggle Short Jokes dataset, and had each annotated for humor and offense by 20 annotators aged 18-70. Our subtasks were binary humor detection, prediction of humor and offense ratings, and a novel controversy task: to predict if the variance in the humor ratings was higher than a specific threshold. The subtasks attracted 36-58 submissions, with most of the participants choosing to use pre-trained language models. Many of the highest performing teams also implemented additional optimization techniques, including task-adaptive training and adversarial training. The results suggest that the participating systems are well suited to humor detection, but that humor controversy is a more challenging task. We discuss which models excel in this task, which auxiliary techniques boost their performance, and analyze the errors which were not captured by the best systems.


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Crossing the Line: Where do Demographic Variables Fit into Humor Detection?
J. A. Meaney
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Student Research Workshop

Recent humor classification shared tasks have struggled with two issues: either the data comprises a highly constrained genre of humor which does not broadly represent humor, or the data is so indiscriminate that the inter-annotator agreement on its humor content is drastically low. These tasks typically average over all annotators’ judgments, in spite of the fact that humor is a highly subjective phenomenon. We argue that demographic factors influence whether a text is perceived as humorous or not. We propose the addition of demographic information about the humor annotators in order to bin ratings more sensibly. We also suggest the addition of an ‘offensive’ label to distinguish between different generations, in terms of humor. This would allow for more nuanced shared tasks and could lead to better performance on downstream tasks, such as content moderation.

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Smash at SemEval-2020 Task 7: Optimizing the Hyperparameters of ERNIE 2.0 for Humor Ranking and Rating
J. A. Meaney | Steven Wilson | Walid Magdy
Proceedings of the Fourteenth Workshop on Semantic Evaluation

The use of pre-trained language models such as BERT and ULMFiT has become increasingly popular in shared tasks, due to their powerful language modelling capabilities. Our entry to SemEval uses ERNIE 2.0, a language model which is pre-trained on a large number of tasks to enrich the semantic and syntactic information learned. ERNIE’s knowledge masking pre-training task is a unique method for learning about named entities, and we hypothesise that it may be of use in a dataset which is built on news headlines and which contains many named entities. We optimize the hyperparameters in a regression and classification model and find that the hyperparameters we selected helped to make bigger gains in the classification model than the regression model.