Proceedings of the 2022 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies: Tutorial Abstracts

Miguel Ballesteros, Yulia Tsvetkov, Cecilia O. Alm (Editors)

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Seattle, United States
Association for Computational Linguistics
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Proceedings of the 2022 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies: Tutorial Abstracts
Miguel Ballesteros | Yulia Tsvetkov | Cecilia O. Alm

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Text Generation with Text-Editing Models
Eric Malmi | Yue Dong | Jonathan Mallinson | Aleksandr Chuklin | Jakub Adamek | Daniil Mirylenka | Felix Stahlberg | Sebastian Krause | Shankar Kumar | Aliaksei Severyn

Text-editing models have recently become a prominent alternative to seq2seq models for monolingual text-generation tasks such as grammatical error correction, text simplification, and style transfer. These tasks share a common trait – they exhibit a large amount of textual overlap between the source and target texts. Text-editing models take advantage of this observation and learn to generate the output by predicting edit operations applied to the source sequence. In contrast, seq2seq models generate outputs word-by-word from scratch thus making them slow at inference time. Text-editing models provide several benefits over seq2seq models including faster inference speed, higher sample efficiency, and better control and interpretability of the outputs. This tutorial provides a comprehensive overview of the text-edit based models and current state-of-the-art approaches analyzing their pros and cons. We discuss challenges related to deployment and how these models help to mitigate hallucination and bias, both pressing challenges in the field of text generation.

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Self-supervised Representation Learning for Speech Processing
Hung-yi Lee | Abdelrahman Mohamed | Shinji Watanabe | Tara Sainath | Karen Livescu | Shang-Wen Li | Shu-wen Yang | Katrin Kirchhoff

There is a trend in the machine learning community to adopt self-supervised approaches to pre-train deep networks. Self-supervised representation learning (SSL) utilizes proxy supervised learning tasks, for example, distinguishing parts of the input signal from distractors, or generating masked input segments conditioned on the unmasked ones, to obtain training data from unlabeled corpora. BERT and GPT in NLP and SimCLR and BYOL in CV are famous examples in this direction. These approaches make it possible to use a tremendous amount of unlabeled data available on the web to train large networks and solve complicated tasks. Thus, SSL has the potential to scale up current machine learning technologies, especially for low-resourced, under-represented use cases, and democratize the technologies. Recently self-supervised approaches for speech processing are also gaining popularity. There are several workshops in relevant topics hosted at ICML 2020 (, NeurIPS 2020 (, and AAAI 2022 ( However, there is no previous tutorial about a similar topic based on the authors’ best knowledge. Due to the growing popularity of SSL, and the shared mission of the areas in bringing speech and language technologies to more use cases with better quality and scaling the technologies for under-represented languages, we propose this tutorial to systematically survey the latest SSL techniques, tools, datasets, and performance achievement in speech processing. The proposed tutorial is highly relevant to the special theme of ACL about language diversity. One of the main focuses of the tutorial is leveraging SSL to reduce the dependence of speech technologies on labeled data, and to scale up the technologies especially for under-represented languages and use cases.

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New Frontiers of Information Extraction
Muhao Chen | Lifu Huang | Manling Li | Ben Zhou | Heng Ji | Dan Roth

This tutorial targets researchers and practitioners who are interested in AI and ML technologies for structural information extraction (IE) from unstructured textual sources. Particularly, this tutorial will provide audience with a systematic introduction to recent advances of IE, by answering several important research questions. These questions include (i) how to develop an robust IE system from noisy, insufficient training data, while ensuring the reliability of its prediction? (ii) how to foster the generalizability of IE through enhancing the system’s cross-lingual, cross-domain, cross-task and cross-modal transferability? (iii) how to precisely support extracting structural information with extremely fine-grained, diverse and boundless labels? (iv) how to further improve IE by leveraging indirect supervision from other NLP tasks, such as NLI, QA or summarization, and pre-trained language models? (v) how to acquire knowledge to guide the inference of IE systems? We will discuss several lines of frontier research that tackle those challenges, and will conclude the tutorial by outlining directions for further investigation.

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Human-Centered Evaluation of Explanations
Jordan Boyd-Graber | Samuel Carton | Shi Feng | Q. Vera Liao | Tania Lombrozo | Alison Smith-Renner | Chenhao Tan

The NLP community are increasingly interested in providing explanations for NLP models to help people make sense of model behavior and potentially improve human interaction with models. In addition to computational challenges in generating these explanations, evaluations of the generated explanations require human-centered perspectives and approaches. This tutorial will provide an overview of human-centered evaluations of explanations. First, we will give a brief introduction to the psychological foundation of explanations as well as types of NLP model explanations and their corresponding presentation, to provide the necessary background. We will then present a taxonomy of human-centered evaluation of explanations and dive into depth in the two categories: 1) evaluation based on human-annotated explanations; 2) evaluation with human-subjects studies. We will conclude by discussing future directions. We will also adopt a flipped format to maximize the in- teractive components for the live audience.

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Tutorial on Multimodal Machine Learning
Louis-Philippe Morency | Paul Pu Liang | Amir Zadeh

Multimodal machine learning involves integrating and modeling information from multiple heterogeneous sources of data. It is a challenging yet crucial area with numerous real-world applications in multimedia, affective computing, robotics, finance, HCI, and healthcare. This tutorial, building upon a new edition of a survey paper on multimodal ML as well as previously-given tutorials and academic courses, will describe an updated taxonomy on multimodal machine learning synthesizing its core technical challenges and major directions for future research.

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Contrastive Data and Learning for Natural Language Processing
Rui Zhang | Yangfeng Ji | Yue Zhang | Rebecca J. Passonneau

Current NLP models heavily rely on effective representation learning algorithms. Contrastive learning is one such technique to learn an embedding space such that similar data sample pairs have close representations while dissimilar samples stay far apart from each other. It can be used in supervised or unsupervised settings using different loss functions to produce task-specific or general-purpose representations. While it has originally enabled the success for vision tasks, recent years have seen a growing number of publications in contrastive NLP. This first line of works not only delivers promising performance improvements in various NLP tasks, but also provides desired characteristics such as task-agnostic sentence representation, faithful text generation, data-efficient learning in zero-shot and few-shot settings, interpretability and explainability. In this tutorial, we aim to provide a gentle introduction to the fundamentals of contrastive learning approaches and the theory behind them. We then survey the benefits and the best practices of contrastive learning for various downstream NLP applications including Text Classification, Question Answering, Summarization, Text Generation, Interpretability and Explainability, Commonsense Knowledge and Reasoning, Vision-and-Language.This tutorial intends to help researchers in the NLP and computational linguistics community to understand this emerging topic and promote future research directions of using contrastive learning for NLP applications.