In this work, we explore whether the recently demonstrated zero-shot abilities of the T0 model extend to Named Entity Recognition for out-of-distribution languages and time periods. Using a historical newspaper corpus in 3 languages as test-bed, we use prompts to extract possible named entities. Our results show that a naive approach for prompt-based zero-shot multilingual Named Entity Recognition is error-prone, but highlights the potential of such an approach for historical languages lacking labeled datasets. Moreover, we also find that T0-like models can be probed to predict the publication date and language of a document, which could be very relevant for the study of historical texts.
In this work we present the experiments which lead to the creation of our BERT and ELECTRA based German language models, GBERT and GELECTRA. By varying the input training data, model size, and the presence of Whole Word Masking (WWM) we were able to attain SoTA performance across a set of document classification and named entity recognition (NER) tasks for both models of base and large size. We adopt an evaluation driven approach in training these models and our results indicate that both adding more data and utilizing WWM improve model performance. By benchmarking against existing German models, we show that these models are the best German models to date. All trained models will be made publicly available to the research community.
In this paper we study the influence of using language model pre-training for named entity recognition for Historic German. We achieve new state-of-the-art results using carefully chosen training data for language models. For a low-resource domain like named entity recognition for Historic German, language model pre-training can be a strong competitor to CRF-only methods. We show that language model pre-training can be more effective than using transfer-learning with labeled datasets. Furthermore, we introduce a new language model pre-training objective, synthetic masked language model pre-training (SMLM), that allows a transfer from one domain (contemporary texts) to another domain (historical texts) by using only the same (character) vocabulary. Results show that using SMLM can achieve comparable results for Historic named entity recognition, even when they are only trained on contemporary texts. Our pre-trained character-based language models improve upon classical CRF-based methods and previous work on Bi-LSTMs by boosting F1 score performance by up to 6%.