Procedures are inherently hierarchical. To “make videos”, one may need to “purchase a camera”, which in turn may require one to “set a budget”. While such hierarchical knowledge is critical for reasoning about complex procedures, most existing work has treated procedures as shallow structures without modeling the parent-child relation. In this work, we attempt to construct an open-domain hierarchical knowledge-base (KB) of procedures based on wikiHow, a website containing more than 110k instructional articles, each documenting the steps to carry out a complex procedure. To this end, we develop a simple and efficient method that links steps (e.g., “purchase a camera”) in an article to other articles with similar goals (e.g., “how to choose a camera”), recursively constructing the KB. Our method significantly outperforms several strong baselines according to automatic evaluation, human judgment, and application to downstream tasks such as instructional video retrieval.
Understanding what sequence of steps are needed to complete a goal can help artificial intelligence systems reason about human activities. Past work in NLP has examined the task of goal-step inference for text. We introduce the visual analogue. We propose the Visual Goal-Step Inference (VGSI) task, where a model is given a textual goal and must choose which of four images represents a plausible step towards that goal. With a new dataset harvested from wikiHow consisting of 772,277 images representing human actions, we show that our task is challenging for state-of-the-art multimodal models. Moreover, the multimodal representation learned from our data can be effectively transferred to other datasets like HowTo100m, increasing the VGSI accuracy by 15 - 20%. Our task will facilitate multimodal reasoning about procedural events.
Medical dialogue systems are promising in assisting in telemedicine to increase access to healthcare services, improve the quality of patient care, and reduce medical costs. To facilitate the research and development of medical dialogue systems, we build large-scale medical dialogue datasets – MedDialog, which contain 1) a Chinese dataset with 3.4 million conversations between patients and doctors, 11.3 million utterances, 660.2 million tokens, covering 172 specialties of diseases, and 2) an English dataset with 0.26 million conversations, 0.51 million utterances, 44.53 million tokens, covering 96 specialties of diseases. To our best knowledge, MedDialog is the largest medical dialogue dataset to date. We pretrain several dialogue generation models on the Chinese MedDialog dataset, including Transformer, GPT, BERT-GPT, and compare their performance. It is shown that models trained on MedDialog are able to generate clinically correct and doctor-like medical dialogues. We also study the transferability of models trained on MedDialog to low-resource medical dialogue generation tasks. It is shown that via transfer learning which finetunes the models pretrained on MedDialog, the performance on medical dialogue generation tasks with small datasets can be greatly improved, as shown in human evaluation and automatic evaluation. The datasets and code are available at https://github.com/UCSD-AI4H/Medical-Dialogue-System