Samiha Datta


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EnCBP: A New Benchmark Dataset for Finer-Grained Cultural Background Prediction in English
Weicheng Ma | Samiha Datta | Lili Wang | Soroush Vosoughi
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2022

While cultural backgrounds have been shown to affect linguistic expressions, existing natural language processing (NLP) research on culture modeling is overly coarse-grained and does not examine cultural differences among speakers of the same language. To address this problem and augment NLP models with cultural background features, we collect, annotate, manually validate, and benchmark EnCBP, a finer-grained news-based cultural background prediction dataset in English. Through language modeling (LM) evaluations and manual analyses, we confirm that there are noticeable differences in linguistic expressions among five English-speaking countries and across four states in the US. Additionally, our evaluations on nine syntactic (CoNLL-2003), semantic (PAWS-Wiki, QNLI, STS-B, and RTE), and psycholinguistic tasks (SST-5, SST-2, Emotion, and Go-Emotions) show that, while introducing cultural background information does not benefit the Go-Emotions task due to text domain conflicts, it noticeably improves deep learning (DL) model performance on other tasks. Our findings strongly support the importance of cultural background modeling to a wide variety of NLP tasks and demonstrate the applicability of EnCBP in culture-related research.

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Development of Automatic Speech Recognition for the Documentation of Cook Islands Māori
Rolando Coto-Solano | Sally Akevai Nicholas | Samiha Datta | Victoria Quint | Piripi Wills | Emma Ngakuravaru Powell | Liam Koka’ua | Syed Tanveer | Isaac Feldman
Proceedings of the Thirteenth Language Resources and Evaluation Conference

This paper describes the process of data processing and training of an automatic speech recognition (ASR) system for Cook Islands Māori (CIM), an Indigenous language spoken by approximately 22,000 people in the South Pacific. We transcribed four hours of speech from adults and elderly speakers of the language and prepared two experiments. First, we trained three ASR systems: one statistical, Kaldi; and two based on Deep Learning, DeepSpeech and XLSR-Wav2Vec2. Wav2Vec2 tied with Kaldi for lowest character error rate (CER=6±1) and was slightly behind in word error rate (WER=23±2 versus WER=18±2 for Kaldi). This provides evidence that Deep Learning ASR systems are reaching the performance of statistical methods on small datasets, and that they can work effectively with extremely low-resource Indigenous languages like CIM. In the second experiment we used Wav2Vec2 to train models with held-out speakers. While the performance decreased (CER=15±7, WER=46±16), the system still showed considerable learning. We intend to use ASR to accelerate the documentation of CIM, using newly transcribed texts to improve the ASR and also generate teaching and language revitalization materials. The trained model is available under a license based on the Kaitiakitanga License, which provides for non-commercial use while retaining control of the model by the Indigenous community.