We introduce the StatCan Dialogue Dataset consisting of 19,379 conversation turns between agents working at Statistics Canada and online users looking for published data tables. The conversations stem from genuine intents, are held in English or French, and lead to agents retrieving one of over 5000 complex data tables. Based on this dataset, we propose two tasks: (1) automatic retrieval of relevant tables based on a on-going conversation, and (2) automatic generation of appropriate agent responses at each turn. We investigate the difficulty of each task by establishing strong baselines. Our experiments on a temporal data split reveal that all models struggle to generalize to future conversations, as we observe a significant drop in performance across both tasks when we move from the validation to the test set. In addition, we find that response generation models struggle to decide when to return a table. Considering that the tasks pose significant challenges to existing models, we encourage the community to develop models for our task, which can be directly used to help knowledge workers find relevant tables for live chat users.
Most research on question answering focuses on the pre-deployment stage; i.e., building an accurate model for deployment. In this paper, we ask the question: Can we improve QA systems further post-deployment based on user interactions? We focus on two kinds of improvements: 1) improving the QA system’s performance itself, and 2) providing the model with the ability to explain the correctness or incorrectness of an answer. We collect a retrieval-based QA dataset, FeedbackQA, which contains interactive feedback from users. We collect this dataset by deploying a base QA system to crowdworkers who then engage with the system and provide feedback on the quality of its answers. The feedback contains both structured ratings and unstructured natural language explanations. We train a neural model with this feedback data that can generate explanations and re-score answer candidates. We show that feedback data not only improves the accuracy of the deployed QA system but also other stronger non-deployed systems. The generated explanations also help users make informed decisions about the correctness of answers.
One of the biggest challenges that prohibit the use of many current NLP methods in clinical settings is the availability of public datasets. In this work, we present MeDAL, a large medical text dataset curated for abbreviation disambiguation, designed for natural language understanding pre-training in the medical domain. We pre-trained several models of common architectures on this dataset and empirically showed that such pre-training leads to improved performance and convergence speed when fine-tuning on downstream medical tasks.