We ask subjects whether they perceive as human-produced a bunch of texts, some of which are actually human-written, while others are automatically generated. We use this data to fine-tune a GPT-2 model to push it to generate more human-like texts, and observe that this fine-tuned model produces texts that are indeed perceived more human-like than the original model. Contextually, we show that our automatic evaluation strategy well correlates with human judgements. We also run a linguistic analysis to unveil the characteristics of human- vs machine-perceived language.
An ongoing debate in the NLG community concerns the best way to evaluate systems, with human evaluation often being considered the most reliable method, compared to corpus-based metrics. However, tasks involving subtle textual differences, such as style transfer, tend to be hard for humans to perform. In this paper, we propose an evaluation method for this task based on purposely-trained classifiers, showing that it better reflects system differences than traditional metrics such as BLEU.
Lexical normalization is the task of translating non-standard social media data to a standard form. Previous work has shown that this is beneficial for many downstream tasks in multiple languages. However, for Italian, there is no benchmark available for lexical normalization, despite the presence of many benchmarks for other tasks involving social media data. In this paper, we discuss the creation of a lexical normalization dataset for Italian. After two rounds of annotation, a Cohen’s kappa score of 78.64 is obtained. During this process, we also analyze the inter-annotator agreement for this task, which is only rarely done on datasets for lexical normalization,and when it is reported, the analysis usually remains shallow. Furthermore, we utilize this dataset to train a lexical normalization model and show that it can be used to improve dependency parsing of social media data. All annotated data and the code to reproduce the results are available at: http://bitbucket.org/robvanderg/normit.
We automatically generate headlines that are expected to comply with the specific styles of two different Italian newspapers. Through a data alignment strategy and different training/testing settings, we aim at decoupling content from style and preserve the latter in generation. In order to evaluate the generated headlines’ quality in terms of their specific newspaper-compliance, we devise a fine-grained evaluation strategy based on automatic classification. We observe that our models do indeed learn newspaper-specific style. Importantly, we also observe that humans aren’t reliable judges for this task, since although familiar with the newspapers, they are not able to discern their specific styles even in the original human-written headlines. The utility of automatic evaluation goes therefore beyond saving the costs and hurdles of manual annotation, and deserves particular care in its design.
In this paper, we present a crowdsourcing-based approach to model the human perception of sentence complexity. We collect a large corpus of sentences rated with judgments of complexity for two typologically-different languages, Italian and English. We test our approach in two experimental scenarios aimed to investigate the contribution of a wide set of lexical, morpho-syntactic and syntactic phenomena in predicting i) the degree of agreement among annotators independently from the assigned judgment and ii) the perception of sentence complexity.