While BERT is an effective method for learning monolingual sentence embeddings for semantic similarity and embedding based transfer learning BERT based cross-lingual sentence embeddings have yet to be explored. We systematically investigate methods for learning multilingual sentence embeddings by combining the best methods for learning monolingual and cross-lingual representations including: masked language modeling (MLM), translation language modeling (TLM), dual encoder translation ranking, and additive margin softmax. We show that introducing a pre-trained multilingual language model dramatically reduces the amount of parallel training data required to achieve good performance by 80%. Composing the best of these methods produces a model that achieves 83.7% bi-text retrieval accuracy over 112 languages on Tatoeba, well above the 65.5% achieved by LASER, while still performing competitively on monolingual transfer learning benchmarks. Parallel data mined from CommonCrawl using our best model is shown to train competitive NMT models for en-zh and en-de. We publicly release our best multilingual sentence embedding model for 109+ languages at https://tfhub.dev/google/LaBSE.
Document-level neural machine translation (DocNMT) achieves coherent translations by incorporating cross-sentence context. However, for most language pairs there’s a shortage of parallel documents, although parallel sentences are readily available. In this paper, we study whether and how contextual modeling in DocNMT is transferable via multilingual modeling. We focus on the scenario of zero-shot transfer from teacher languages with document level data to student languages with no documents but sentence level data, and for the first time treat document-level translation as a transfer learning problem. Using simple concatenation-based DocNMT, we explore the effect of 3 factors on the transfer: the number of teacher languages with document level data, the balance between document and sentence level data at training, and the data condition of parallel documents (genuine vs. back-translated). Our experiments on Europarl-7 and IWSLT-10 show the feasibility of multilingual transfer for DocNMT, particularly on document-specific metrics. We observe that more teacher languages and adequate data balance both contribute to better transfer quality. Surprisingly, the transfer is less sensitive to the data condition, where multilingual DocNMT delivers decent performance with either back-translated or genuine document pairs.
There has been great progress in improving streaming machine translation, a simultaneous paradigm where the system appends to a growing hypothesis as more source content becomes available. We study a related problem in which revisions to the hypothesis beyond strictly appending words are permitted. This is suitable for applications such as live captioning an audio feed. In this setting, we compare custom streaming approaches to re-translation, a straightforward strategy where each new source token triggers a distinct translation from scratch. We find re-translation to be as good or better than state-of-the-art streaming systems, even when operating under constraints that allow very few revisions. We attribute much of this success to a previously proposed data-augmentation technique that adds prefix-pairs to the training data, which alongside wait-k inference forms a strong baseline for streaming translation. We also highlight re-translation’s ability to wrap arbitrarily powerful MT systems with an experiment showing large improvements from an upgrade to its base model.
Over the last few years two promising research directions in low-resource neural machine translation (NMT) have emerged. The first focuses on utilizing high-resource languages to improve the quality of low-resource languages via multilingual NMT. The second direction employs monolingual data with self-supervision to pre-train translation models, followed by fine-tuning on small amounts of supervised data. In this work, we join these two lines of research and demonstrate the efficacy of monolingual data with self-supervision in multilingual NMT. We offer three major results: (i) Using monolingual data significantly boosts the translation quality of low-resource languages in multilingual models. (ii) Self-supervision improves zero-shot translation quality in multilingual models. (iii) Leveraging monolingual data with self-supervision provides a viable path towards adding new languages to multilingual models, getting up to 33 BLEU on ro-en translation without any parallel data or back-translation.
Simultaneous translation, which performs translation concurrently with the source speech, is widely useful in many scenarios such as international conferences, negotiations, press releases, legal proceedings, and medicine. This problem has long been considered one of the hardest problems in AI and one of its holy grails. Recently, with rapid improvements in machine translation, speech recognition, and speech synthesis, there has been exciting progress towards simultaneous translation. This tutorial will focus on the design and evaluation of policies for simultaneous translation, to leave attendees with a deep technical understanding of the history, the recent advances, and the remaining challenges in this field.
Simultaneous machine translation begins to translate each source sentence before the source speaker is finished speaking, with applications to live and streaming scenarios. Simultaneous systems must carefully schedule their reading of the source sentence to balance quality against latency. We present the first simultaneous translation system to learn an adaptive schedule jointly with a neural machine translation (NMT) model that attends over all source tokens read thus far. We do so by introducing Monotonic Infinite Lookback (MILk) attention, which maintains both a hard, monotonic attention head to schedule the reading of the source sentence, and a soft attention head that extends from the monotonic head back to the beginning of the source. We show that MILk’s adaptive schedule allows it to arrive at latency-quality trade-offs that are favorable to those of a recently proposed wait-k strategy for many latency values.
We propose a practical scheme to train a single multilingual sequence labeling model that yields state of the art results and is small and fast enough to run on a single CPU. Starting from a public multilingual BERT checkpoint, our final model is 6x smaller and 27x faster, and has higher accuracy than a state-of-the-art multilingual baseline. We show that our model especially outperforms on low-resource languages, and works on codemixed input text without being explicitly trained on codemixed examples. We showcase the effectiveness of our method by reporting on part-of-speech tagging and morphological prediction on 70 treebanks and 48 languages.