Michael Chavinda


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TaTA: A Multilingual Table-to-Text Dataset for African Languages
Sebastian Gehrmann | Sebastian Ruder | Vitaly Nikolaev | Jan Botha | Michael Chavinda | Ankur Parikh | Clara Rivera
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2023

Existing data-to-text generation datasets are mostly limited to English. To address this lack of data, we create Table-to-Text in African languages (TaTA), the first large multilingual table-to-text dataset with a focus on African languages. We created TaTA by transcribing figures and accompanying text in bilingual reports by the Demographic and Health Surveys Program, followed by professional translation to make the dataset fully parallel. TaTA includes 8,700 examples in nine languages including four African languages (Hausa, Igbo, Swahili, and Yorùbá) and a zero-shot test language (Russian). We additionally release screenshots of the original figures for future research on multilingual multi-modal approaches. Through an in-depth human evaluation, we show that TaTA is challenging for current models and that less than half the outputs from an mT5-XXL-based model are understandable and attributable to the source data. Our results highlight a) the need for validating metrics; and b) the importance of domain-specific metrics.