The NLP pipeline has evolved dramatically in the last few years. The first step in the pipeline is to find suitable annotated datasets to evaluate the tasks we are trying to solve. Unfortunately, most of the published datasets lack metadata annotations that describe their attributes. Not to mention, the absence of a public catalogue that indexes all the publicly available datasets related to specific regions or languages. When we consider low-resource dialectical languages, for example, this issue becomes more prominent. In this paper, we create Masader, the largest public catalogue for Arabic NLP datasets, which consists of 200 datasets annotated with 25 attributes. Furthermore, we develop a metadata annotation strategy that could be extended to other languages. We also make remarks and highlight some issues about the current status of Arabic NLP datasets and suggest recommendations to address them.
PromptSource is a system for creating, sharing, and using natural language prompts. Prompts are functions that map an example from a dataset to a natural language input and target output. Using prompts to train and query language models is an emerging area in NLP that requires new tools that let users develop and refine these prompts collaboratively. PromptSource addresses the emergent challenges in this new setting with (1) a templating language for defining data-linked prompts, (2) an interface that lets users quickly iterate on prompt development by observing outputs of their prompts on many examples, and (3) a community-driven set of guidelines for contributing new prompts to a common pool. Over 2,000 prompts for roughly 170 datasets are already available in PromptSource. PromptSource is available at https://github.com/bigscience-workshop/promptsource.
Natural language modelling has gained a lot of interest recently. The current state-of-the-art results are achieved by first training a very large language model and then fine-tuning it on multiple tasks. However, there is little work on smaller more compact language models for resource-limited devices or applications. Not to mention, how to efficiently train such models for a low-resource language like Arabic. In this paper, we investigate how such models can be trained in a compact way for Arabic. We also show how distillation and quantization can be applied to create even smaller models. Our experiments show that our largest model which is 2x smaller than the baseline can achieve better results on multiple tasks with 2x less data for pretraining.
Automating natural language understanding is a lifelong quest addressed for decades. With the help of advances in machine learning and particularly, deep learning, we are able to produce state of the art models that can imitate human interactions with languages. Unfortunately, these advances are controlled by the availability of language resources. Arabic advances in this field , although it has a great potential, are still limited. This is apparent in both research and development. In this paper, we showcase some NLP models we trained for Arabic. We also present our methodology and pipeline to build such models from data collection, data preprocessing, tokenization and model deployment. These tools help in the advancement of the field and provide a systematic approach for extending NLP tools to many languages.