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From Masked Language Modeling to Translation: Non-English Auxiliary Tasks Improve Zero-shot Spoken Language Understanding

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The lack of publicly available evaluation data for low-resource languages limits progress in Spoken Language Understanding (SLU). As key tasks like intent classification and slot filling require abundant training data, it is desirable to reuse existing data in high-resource languages to develop models for low-resource scenarios. We introduce XSID, a new benchmark for cross-lingual (X) Slot and Intent Detection in 13 languages from 6 language families, including a very low-resource dialect.
To tackle the challenge, we propose a joint learning approach, with English SLU training data and non-English auxiliary tasks from raw text, syntax and translation for transfer. We study two setups which differ by type and language coverage of the pre-trained embeddings. Our results show that jointly learning the main
tasks with masked language modeling is effective for slots, while machine translation works best for intent classification.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of NAACL
PublisherAssociation for Computational Linguistics
Publication date2021
Publication statusPublished - 2021

ID: 85927073