Tom Gedeon


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Thesis Proposal: Detecting Empathy Using Multimodal Language Model
Md Rakibul Hasan | Md Zakir Hossain | Aneesh Krishna | Shafin Rahman | Tom Gedeon
Proceedings of the 18th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Student Research Workshop

Empathy is crucial in numerous social interactions, including human-robot, patient-doctor, teacher-student, and customer-call centre conversations. Despite its importance, empathy detection in videos continues to be a challenging task because of the subjective nature of empathy and often remains under-explored. Existing studies have relied on scripted or semi-scripted interactions in text-, audio-, or video-only settings that fail to capture the complexities and nuances of real-life interactions. This PhD research aims to fill these gaps by developing a multimodal language model (MMLM) that detects empathy in audiovisual data. In addition to leveraging existing datasets, the proposed study involves collecting real-life interaction video and audio. This study will leverage optimisation techniques like neural architecture search to deliver an optimised small-scale MMLM. Successful implementation of this project has significant implications in enhancing the quality of social interactions as it enables real-time measurement of empathy and thus provides potential avenues for training for better empathy in interactions.

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LLM-GEm: Large Language Model-Guided Prediction of People’s Empathy Levels towards Newspaper Article
Md Rakibul Hasan | Md Zakir Hossain | Tom Gedeon | Shafin Rahman
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EACL 2024

Empathy – encompassing the understanding and supporting others’ emotions and perspectives – strengthens various social interactions, including written communication in healthcare, education and journalism. Detecting empathy using AI models by relying on self-assessed ground truth through crowdsourcing is challenging due to the inherent noise in such annotations. To this end, we propose a novel system, named Large Language Model-Guided Empathy _(LLM-GEm)_ prediction system. It rectifies annotation errors based on our defined annotation selection threshold and makes the annotations reliable for conventional empathy prediction models, e.g., BERT-based pre-trained language models (PLMs). Previously, demographic information was often integrated numerically into empathy detection models. In contrast, our _LLM-GEm_ leverages GPT-3.5 LLM to convert numerical data into semantically meaningful textual sequences, enabling seamless integration into PLMs. We experiment with three _NewsEmpathy_ datasets involving people’s empathy levels towards newspaper articles and achieve state-of-the-art test performance using a RoBERTa-based PLM. Code and evaluations are publicly available at [](


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Curtin OCAI at WASSA 2023 Empathy, Emotion and Personality Shared Task: Demographic-Aware Prediction Using Multiple Transformers
Md Rakibul Hasan | Md Zakir Hossain | Tom Gedeon | Susannah Soon | Shafin Rahman
Proceedings of the 13th Workshop on Computational Approaches to Subjectivity, Sentiment, & Social Media Analysis

The WASSA 2023 shared task on predicting empathy, emotion and other personality traits consists of essays, conversations and articles in textual form and participants’ demographic information in numerical form. To address the tasks, our contributions include (1) converting numerical information into meaningful text information using appropriate templates, (2) summarising lengthy articles, and (3) augmenting training data by paraphrasing. To achieve these contributions, we leveraged two separate T5-based pre-trained transformers. We then fine-tuned pre-trained BERT, DistilBERT and ALBERT for predicting empathy and personality traits. We used the Optuna hyperparameter optimisation framework to fine-tune learning rates, batch sizes and weight initialisation. Our proposed system achieved its highest performance – a Pearson correlation coefficient of 0.750 – on the onversation-level empathy prediction task1 . The system implementation is publicly available at https: //


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EPUTION at SemEval-2018 Task 2: Emoji Prediction with User Adaption
Liyuan Zhou | Qiongkai Xu | Hanna Suominen | Tom Gedeon
Proceedings of the 12th International Workshop on Semantic Evaluation

This paper describes our approach, called EPUTION, for the open trial of the SemEval- 2018 Task 2, Multilingual Emoji Prediction. The task relates to using social media — more precisely, Twitter — with its aim to predict the most likely associated emoji of a tweet. Our solution for this text classification problem explores the idea of transfer learning for adapting the classifier based on users’ tweeting history. Our experiments show that our user-adaption method improves classification results by more than 6 per cent on the macro-averaged F1. Thus, our paper provides evidence for the rationality of enriching the original corpus longitudinally with user behaviors and transferring the lessons learned from corresponding users to specific instances.