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Challenges in Developing Multilingual Language Models in Natural Language Processing NLP by Paul Barba

Vision, status, and research topics of Natural Language Processing

problems in nlp

What we should focus on is to teach skills like machine translation in order to empower people to solve these problems. Academic progress unfortunately doesn’t necessarily relate to low-resource languages. However, if cross-lingual benchmarks become more pervasive, then this should also lead problems in nlp to more progress on low-resource languages. Universal language model   Bernardt argued that there are universal commonalities between languages that could be exploited by a universal language model. The challenge then is to obtain enough data and compute to train such a language model.

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The work in Pang et al. (2021) handles this limitation by creating an artificial vocabulary for temporal distances (e.g., token LT to temporal distance longer than 365 days). The approach in Peng et al. (2021) augments this temporal notion since it also considers the temporal length of visits rather than uniquely the distance between visits. Therefore, these two pieces of information (length of visit and distance between current and previous visits) are added to the input content representation (numeric medical codes).

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This is a typical example in which advances in broader fields of computer science/engineering open up new opportunities to change and enhance the NLP field. As a result of this work, we recognized large discrepancies between linguistic units such as words, phrases, and clauses, and domain-specific semantic units, such as named entities, and relations and events that link them together (Figure 8). The mapping between linguistic structures and the semantic ones defined by domain specialists was far more complex than the mapping assumed by computational semanticists. Regarding the involvement of NLP researchers and domain experts, we found that a few groups in the world also began to be interested in similar research topics.

Furthermore, modular architecture allows for different configurations and for dynamic distribution. Another big open problem is dealing with large or multiple documents, as current models are mostly based on recurrent neural networks, which cannot represent longer contexts well. Working with large contexts is closely related to NLU and requires scaling up current systems until they can read entire books and movie scripts. However, there are projects such as OpenAI Five that show that acquiring sufficient amounts of data might be the way out.

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What should be learned and what should be hard-wired into the model was also explored in the debate between Yann LeCun and Christopher Manning in February 2018. NLP machine learning can be put to work to analyze massive amounts of text in real time for previously unattainable insights. However, new techniques, like multilingual transformers (using Google’s BERT “Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers”) and multilingual sentence embeddings aim to identify and leverage universal similarities that exist between languages. This is where training and regularly updating custom models can be helpful, although it oftentimes requires quite a lot of data.

  • Deep-learning models take as input a word embedding and, at each time state, return the probability distribution of the next word as the probability for every word in the dictionary.
  • Recent work has focused on incorporating multiple sources of knowledge and information to aid with analysis of text, as well as applying frame semantics at the noun phrase, sentence, and document level.
  • BYOL trains two networks (online and target), which are augmented separately.

Endeavours such as OpenAI Five show that current models can do a lot if they are scaled up to work with a lot more data and a lot more compute. With sufficient amounts of data, our current models might similarly do better with larger contexts. The problem is that supervision with large documents is scarce and expensive to obtain.

However, the advantages of its use to improve the representation of positional encodings are unclear in the literature. For example, the work in Ren et al. (2021) uses the number of weeks as the input parameter of the sinusoidal function rather than simple sequential values. On the other hand, some papers completely redefine the idea of positional encoding. The work in Pang et al. (2021) defines two embeddings, one for representing the idea of continuous time using age as basis (Aemb) and another for cyclic time using the calendar data as basis (Temb). The work in Peng et al. (2021) uses two ordinary differential equations (ODE) to represent visit durations given their initial and final time and the interval between such visits.

The next paragraphs discuss some of the discarded papers, emphasizing the rationale of our decisions and better characterizing the scope of this review. Recent years have brought a revolution in the ability of computers to understand human languages, programming languages, and even biological and chemical sequences, such as DNA and protein structures, that resemble language. The latest AI models are unlocking these areas to analyze the meanings of input text and generate meaningful, expressive output. At NeuralSpace, we base the foundations of our models on language models that are like general athletes who can adapt to a new sport even in low-resource settings (the NeuralSpace athletes need less time to learn any new sport). Base language models themselves do not require “annotated” data and learn generic language capabilities by self-learning in an unsupervised fashion. Nonetheless, they are not very useful for specific tasks like classifying user intents off-the-shelf.


The main problem with a lot of models and the output they produce is down to the data inputted. If you focus on how you can improve the quality of your data using a Data-Centric AI mindset, you will start to see the accuracy in your models output increase. Word embedding creates a global glossary for itself — focusing on unique words without taking context into consideration. With this, the model can then learn about other words that also are found frequently or close to one another in a document. However, the limitation with word embedding comes from the challenge we are speaking about — context. Data availability   Jade finally argued that a big issue is that there are no datasets available for low-resource languages, such as languages spoken in Africa.

problems in nlp

Additionally, depending on the position of an extracted event in a sentence, it may be considered as a pre-supposed fact, hypothesis, and so forth. The manner in which structural information recognized by a parser can be utilized to detect and integrate contradicting claims remains an important research issue. On the other hand, our interest in biomedical text mining extended beyond the traditional IE tasks and moved toward coherent integration of extracted information. In this integration, it became apparent that linguistic structures play more significant roles. Although there had been quite a large amount of research into information retrieval and text mining for the biomedical domain, there had been no serious efforts to apply structure-based NLP techniques to text mining in the domain. To address this, the teams at the University of Manchester and the University of Tokyo jointly launched a new research program in this direction.

They align word embedding spaces sufficiently well to do coarse-grained tasks like topic classification, but don’t allow for more fine-grained tasks such as machine translation. Recent efforts nevertheless show that these embeddings form an important building lock for unsupervised machine translation. Table 2 shows that most approaches use the same positional encoding principles to provide the notion of position (or order) to input tokens. While such encoding works well for textual data, since a text is just a homogeneous sequence of sentences (or words), they represent a limitation to modeling clinical data.

problems in nlp

Natural Language Processing is a subfield of Artificial Intelligence capable of breaking down human language and feeding the tenets of the same to the intelligent models. The Robot uses AI techniques to automatically analyze documents and other types of data in any business system which is subject to GDPR rules. It allows users to search, retrieve, flag, classify, and report on data, mediated to be super sensitive under GDPR quickly and easily.

Challenges in Developing Multilingual Language Models in Natural Language Processing NLP by Paul Barba

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