Jacobo López-fernández


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Exploiting In-Domain Bilingual Corpora for Zero-Shot Transfer Learning in NLU of Intra-Sentential Code-Switching Chatbot Interactions
Maia Aguirre | Manex Serras | Laura García-sardiña | Jacobo López-fernández | Ariane Méndez | Arantza Del Pozo
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing: Industry Track

Code-switching (CS) is a very common phenomenon in regions with various co-existing languages. Since CS is such a frequent habit in informal communications, both spoken and written, it also arises naturally in Human-Machine Interactions. Therefore, in order for natural language understanding (NLU) not to be degraded, CS must be taken into account when developing chatbots. The co-existence of multiple languages in a single NLU model has become feasible with multilingual language representation models such as mBERT. In this paper, the efficacy of zero-shot cross-lingual transfer learning with mBERT for NLU is evaluated on a Basque-Spanish CS chatbot corpus, comparing the performance of NLU models trained using in-domain chatbot utterances in Basque and/or Spanish without CS. The results obtained indicate that training joint multi-intent classification and entity recognition models on both languages simultaneously achieves best performance, better capturing the CS patterns.