We consider the problem of generating natural language given a communicative goal and a world description. We ask the question: is it possible to combine complementary meaning representations to scale a goal-directed NLG system without losing expressiveness? In particular, we consider using two meaning representations, one based on logical semantics and the other based on distributional semantics. We build upon an existing goal-directed generation system, S-STRUCT, which models sentence generation as planning in a Markov decision process. We develop a hybrid approach, which uses distributional semantics to quickly and imprecisely add the main elements of the sentence and then uses first-order logic based semantics to more slowly add the precise details. We find that our hybrid method allows S-STRUCT’s generation to scale significantly better in early phases of generation and that the hybrid can often generate sentences with the same quality as S-STRUCT in substantially less time. However, we also observe and give insight into cases where the imprecision in distributional semantics leads to generation that is not as good as using pure logical semantics.
Datasets with induced emotion labels are scarce but of utmost importance for many NLP tasks. We present a new, automated method for collecting texts along with their induced reaction labels. The method exploits the online use of reaction GIFs, which capture complex affective states. We show how to augment the data with induced emotion and induced sentiment labels. We use our method to create and publish ReactionGIF, a first-of-its-kind affective dataset of 30K tweets. We provide baselines for three new tasks, including induced sentiment prediction and multilabel classification of induced emotions. Our method and dataset open new research opportunities in emotion detection and affective computing.
The use of crowdworkers in NLP research is growing rapidly, in tandem with the exponential increase in research production in machine learning and AI. Ethical discussion regarding the use of crowdworkers within the NLP research community is typically confined in scope to issues related to labor conditions such as fair pay. We draw attention to the lack of ethical considerations related to the various tasks performed by workers, including labeling, evaluation, and production. We find that the Final Rule, the common ethical framework used by researchers, did not anticipate the use of online crowdsourcing platforms for data collection, resulting in gaps between the spirit and practice of human-subjects ethics in NLP research. We enumerate common scenarios where crowdworkers performing NLP tasks are at risk of harm. We thus recommend that researchers evaluate these risks by considering the three ethical principles set up by the Belmont Report. We also clarify some common misconceptions regarding the Institutional Review Board (IRB) application. We hope this paper will serve to reopen the discussion within our community regarding the ethical use of crowdworkers.
Sarcasm detection is an important task in affective computing, requiring large amounts of labeled data. We introduce reactive supervision, a novel data collection method that utilizes the dynamics of online conversations to overcome the limitations of existing data collection techniques. We use the new method to create and release a first-of-its-kind large dataset of tweets with sarcasm perspective labels and new contextual features. The dataset is expected to advance sarcasm detection research. Our method can be adapted to other affective computing domains, thus opening up new research opportunities.