Amit Moryossef


Findings of the First WMT Shared Task on Sign Language Translation (WMT-SLT22)
Mathias Müller | Sarah Ebling | Eleftherios Avramidis | Alessia Battisti | Michèle Berger | Richard Bowden | Annelies Braffort | Necati Cihan Camgöz | Cristina España-bonet | Roman Grundkiewicz | Zifan Jiang | Oscar Koller | Amit Moryossef | Regula Perrollaz | Sabine Reinhard | Annette Rios | Dimitar Shterionov | Sandra Sidler-miserez | Katja Tissi
Proceedings of the Seventh Conference on Machine Translation (WMT)

This paper presents the results of the First WMT Shared Task on Sign Language Translation (WMT-SLT22).This shared task is concerned with automatic translation between signed and spoken languages. The task is novel in the sense that it requires processing visual information (such as video frames or human pose estimation) beyond the well-known paradigm of text-to-text machine translation (MT).The task featured two tracks, translating from Swiss German Sign Language (DSGS) to German and vice versa. Seven teams participated in this first edition of the task, all submitting to the DSGS-to-German track.Besides a system ranking and system papers describing state-of-the-art techniques, this shared task makes the following scientific contributions: novel corpora, reproducible baseline systems and new protocols and software for human evaluation. Finally, the task also resulted in the first publicly available set of system outputs and human evaluation scores for sign language translation.


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Data Augmentation for Sign Language Gloss Translation
Amit Moryossef | Kayo Yin | Graham Neubig | Yoav Goldberg
Proceedings of the 1st International Workshop on Automatic Translation for Signed and Spoken Languages (AT4SSL)

Sign language translation (SLT) is often decomposed into video-to-gloss recognition and gloss to-text translation, where a gloss is a sequence of transcribed spoken-language words in the order in which they are signed. We focus here on gloss-to-text translation, which we treat as a low-resource neural machine translation (NMT) problem. However, unlike traditional low resource NMT, gloss-to-text translation differs because gloss-text pairs often have a higher lexical overlap and lower syntactic overlap than pairs of spoken languages. We exploit this lexical overlap and handle syntactic divergence by proposing two rule-based heuristics that generate pseudo-parallel gloss-text pairs from monolingual spoken language text. By pre-training on this synthetic data, we improve translation from American Sign Language (ASL) to English and German Sign Language (DGS) to German by up to 3.14 and 2.20 BLEU, respectively.

Including Signed Languages in Natural Language Processing
Kayo Yin | Amit Moryossef | Julie Hochgesang | Yoav Goldberg | Malihe Alikhani
Proceedings of the 59th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 11th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Signed languages are the primary means of communication for many deaf and hard of hearing individuals. Since signed languages exhibit all the fundamental linguistic properties of natural language, we believe that tools and theories of Natural Language Processing (NLP) are crucial towards its modeling. However, existing research in Sign Language Processing (SLP) seldom attempt to explore and leverage the linguistic organization of signed languages. This position paper calls on the NLP community to include signed languages as a research area with high social and scientific impact. We first discuss the linguistic properties of signed languages to consider during their modeling. Then, we review the limitations of current SLP models and identify the open challenges to extend NLP to signed languages. Finally, we urge (1) the adoption of an efficient tokenization method; (2) the development of linguistically-informed models; (3) the collection of real-world signed language data; (4) the inclusion of local signed language communities as an active and leading voice in the direction of research.


Step-by-Step: Separating Planning from Realization in Neural Data-to-Text Generation
Amit Moryossef | Yoav Goldberg | Ido Dagan
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies, Volume 1 (Long and Short Papers)

Data-to-text generation can be conceptually divided into two parts: ordering and structuring the information (planning), and generating fluent language describing the information (realization). Modern neural generation systems conflate these two steps into a single end-to-end differentiable system. We propose to split the generation process into a symbolic text-planning stage that is faithful to the input, followed by a neural generation stage that focuses only on realization. For training a plan-to-text generator, we present a method for matching reference texts to their corresponding text plans. For inference time, we describe a method for selecting high-quality text plans for new inputs. We implement and evaluate our approach on the WebNLG benchmark. Our results demonstrate that decoupling text planning from neural realization indeed improves the system’s reliability and adequacy while maintaining fluent output. We observe improvements both in BLEU scores and in manual evaluations. Another benefit of our approach is the ability to output diverse realizations of the same input, paving the way to explicit control over the generated text structure.

Filling Gender & Number Gaps in Neural Machine Translation with Black-box Context Injection
Amit Moryossef | Roee Aharoni | Yoav Goldberg
Proceedings of the First Workshop on Gender Bias in Natural Language Processing

When translating from a language that does not morphologically mark information such as gender and number into a language that does, translation systems must “guess” this missing information, often leading to incorrect translations in the given context. We propose a black-box approach for injecting the missing information to a pre-trained neural machine translation system, allowing to control the morphological variations in the generated translations without changing the underlying model or training data. We evaluate our method on an English to Hebrew translation task, and show that it is effective in injecting the gender and number information and that supplying the correct information improves the translation accuracy in up to 2.3 BLEU on a female-speaker test set for a state-of-the-art online black-box system. Finally, we perform a fine-grained syntactic analysis of the generated translations that shows the effectiveness of our method.

Improving Quality and Efficiency in Plan-based Neural Data-to-text Generation
Amit Moryossef | Yoav Goldberg | Ido Dagan
Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Natural Language Generation

We follow the step-by-step approach to neural data-to-text generation proposed by Moryossef et al (2019), in which the generation process is divided into a text planning stage followed by a plan realization stage. We suggest four extensions to that framework: (1) we introduce a trainable neural planning component that can generate effective plans several orders of magnitude faster than the original planner; (2) we incorporate typing hints that improve the model’s ability to deal with unseen relations and entities; (3) we introduce a verification-by-reranking stage that substantially improves the faithfulness of the resulting texts; (4) we incorporate a simple but effective referring expression generation module. These extensions result in a generation process that is faster, more fluent, and more accurate.