We report on the current status of an effort to produce political event data from unstructured text via a Transformer language model. Compelled by the current lack of publicly available and up-to-date event coding software, we seek to train a model that can produce structured political event records at the sentence level. Our approach differs from previous efforts in that we conceptualize this task as one of text-to-text sequence generation. We motivate this choice by outlining desirable properties of text generation models for the needs of event coding. To overcome the lack of sufficient training data, we also describe a method for generating synthetic text and event record pairs that we use to fit our model.
We report results of the CASE 2022 Shared Task 1 on Multilingual Protest Event Detection. This task is a continuation of CASE 2021 that consists of four subtasks that are i) document classification, ii) sentence classification, iii) event sentence coreference identification, and iv) event extraction. The CASE 2022 extension consists of expanding the test data with more data in previously available languages, namely, English, Hindi, Portuguese, and Spanish, and adding new test data in Mandarin, Turkish, and Urdu for Sub-task 1, document classification. The training data from CASE 2021 in English, Portuguese and Spanish were utilized. Therefore, predicting document labels in Hindi, Mandarin, Turkish, and Urdu occurs in a zero-shot setting. The CASE 2022 workshop accepts reports on systems developed for predicting test data of CASE 2021 as well. We observe that the best systems submitted by CASE 2022 participants achieve between 79.71 and 84.06 F1-macro for new languages in a zero-shot setting. The winning approaches are mainly ensembling models and merging data in multiple languages. The best two submissions on CASE 2021 data outperform submissions from last year for Subtask 1 and Subtask 2 in all languages. Only the following scenarios were not outperformed by new submissions on CASE 2021: Subtask 3 Portuguese & Subtask 4 English.