Proceedings of the 2nd Conference of the Asia-Pacific Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 12th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing: Tutorial Abstracts

Miguel A. Alonso, Zhongyu Wei (Editors)

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Proceedings of the 2nd Conference of the Asia-Pacific Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 12th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing: Tutorial Abstracts
Miguel A. Alonso | Zhongyu Wei

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Efficient and Robust Knowledge Graph Construction
Ningyu Zhang | Tao Gui | Guoshun Nan

Knowledge graph construction which aims to extract knowledge from the text corpus, has appealed to the NLP community researchers. Previous decades have witnessed the remarkable progress of knowledge graph construction on the basis of neural models; however, those models often cost massive computation or labeled data resources and suffer from unstable inference accounting for biased or adversarial samples. Recently, numerous approaches have been explored to mitigate the efficiency and robustness issues for knowledge graph construction, such as prompt learning and adversarial training. In this tutorial, we aim to bring interested NLP researchers up to speed on the recent and ongoing techniques for efficient and robust knowledge graph construction. Additionally, our goal is to provide a systematic and up-to-date overview of these methods and reveal new research opportunities to the audience.

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Recent Advances in Pre-trained Language Models: Why Do They Work and How Do They Work
Cheng-Han Chiang | Yung-Sung Chuang | Hung-yi Lee

Pre-trained language models (PLMs) are language models that are pre-trained on large-scaled corpora in a self-supervised fashion. These PLMs have fundamentally changed the natural language processing community in the past few years. In this tutorial, we aim to provide a broad and comprehensive introduction from two perspectives: why those PLMs work, and how to use them in NLP tasks. The first part of the tutorial shows some insightful analysis on PLMs that partially explain their exceptional downstream performance. The second part first focuses on emerging pre-training methods that enable PLMs to perform diverse downstream tasks and then illustrates how one can apply those PLMs to downstream tasks under different circumstances. These circumstances include fine-tuning PLMs when under data scarcity, and using PLMs with parameter efficiency. We believe that attendees of different backgrounds would find this tutorial informative and useful.

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When Cantonese NLP Meets Pre-training: Progress and Challenges
Rong Xiang | Hanzhuo Tan | Jing Li | Mingyu Wan | Kam-Fai Wong

Cantonese is an influential Chinese variant with a large population of speakers worldwide. However, it is under-resourced in terms of the data scale and diversity, excluding Cantonese Natural Language Processing (NLP) from the stateof-the-art (SOTA) “pre-training and fine-tuning” paradigm. This tutorial will start with a substantially review of the linguistics and NLP progress for shaping language specificity, resources, and methodologies. It will be followed by an introduction to the trendy transformerbased pre-training methods, which have been largely advancing the SOTA performance of a wide range of downstream NLP tasks in numerous majority languages (e.g., English and Chinese). Based on the above, we will present the main challenges for Cantonese NLP in relation to Cantonese language idiosyncrasies of colloquialism and multilingualism, followed by the future directions to line NLP for Cantonese and other low-resource languages up to the cutting-edge pre-training practice.

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Grounding Meaning Representation for Situated Reasoning
Nikhil Krishnaswamy | James Pustejovsky

As natural language technology becomes ever-present in everyday life, people will expect artificial agents to understand language use as humans do. Nevertheless, most advanced neural AI systems fail at some types of interactions that are trivial for humans (e.g., ask a smart system “What am I pointing at?”). One critical aspect of human language understanding is situated reasoning, where inferences make reference to the local context, perceptual surroundings, and contextual groundings from the interaction. In this cutting-edge tutorial, we bring to the NLP/CL community a synthesis of multimodal grounding and meaning representation techniques with formal and computational models of embodied reasoning. We will discuss existing approaches to multimodal language grounding and meaning representations, discuss the kind of information each method captures and their relative suitability to situated reasoning tasks, and demon- strate how to construct agents that conduct situated reasoning by embodying a simulated environment. In doing so, these agents also represent their human interlocutor(s) within the simulation, and are represented through their virtual embodiment in the real world, enabling true bidirectional communication with a computer using multiple modalities.

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The Battlefront of Combating Misinformation and Coping with Media Bias
Yi Fung | Kung-Hsiang Huang | Preslav Nakov | Heng Ji

Misinformation is a pressing issue in modern society. It arouses a mixture of anger, distrust, confusion, and anxiety that cause damage on our daily life judgments and public policy decisions. While recent studies have explored various fake news detection and media bias detection techniques in attempts to tackle the problem, there remain many ongoing challenges yet to be addressed, as can be witnessed from the plethora of untrue and harmful content present during the COVID-19 pandemic and the international crises of late. In this tutorial, we provide researchers and practitioners with a systematic overview of the frontier in fighting misinformation. Specifically, we dive into the important research questions of how to (i) develop a robust fake news detection system, which not only fact-check information pieces provable by background knowledge but also reason about the consistency and the reliability of subtle details for emerging events; (ii) uncover the bias and agenda of news sources to better characterize misinformation; as well as (iii) correct false information and mitigate news bias, while allowing diverse opinions to be expressed. Moreover, we discuss the remaining challenges, future research directions, and exciting opportunities to help make this world a better place, with safer and more harmonic information sharing.

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A Tour of Explicit Multilingual Semantics: Word Sense Disambiguation, Semantic Role Labeling and Semantic Parsing
Roberto Navigli | Edoardo Barba | Simone Conia | Rexhina Blloshmi

The recent advent of modern pretrained language models has sparked a revolution in Natural Language Processing (NLP), especially in multilingual and cross-lingual applications. Today, such language models have become the de facto standard for providing rich input representations to neural systems, achieving unprecedented results in an increasing range of benchmarks. However, questions that often arise are: firstly, whether current language models are, indeed, able to capture explicit, symbolic meaning; secondly, if they are, to what extent; thirdly, and perhaps more importantly, whether current approaches are capable of scaling across languages. In this cutting-edge tutorial, we will review recent efforts that have aimed at shedding light on meaning in NLP, with a focus on three key open problems in lexical and sentence-level semantics: Word Sense Disambiguation, Semantic Role Labeling, and Semantic Parsing. After a brief introduction, we will spotlight how state-of-the-art models tackle these tasks in multiple languages, showing where they excel and where they fail. We hope that this tutorial will broaden the audience interested in multilingual semantics and inspire researchers to further advance the field.