Artificial Intelligence Seminar Series

The Natural Language Decathlon: Multitask Learning as Question Answering

Date28 Nov 2018 (Wednesday)
Time3:30pm
VenueLecture Theater G, 1/F, Academic Building, HKUST
SpeakerDr. Richard Socher
Abstract

Deep learning has improved performance on many natural language processing (NLP) tasks individually. However, general NLP models cannot emerge within a paradigm that focuses on the particularities of a single metric, dataset, and task.

We introduce the Natural Language Decathlon (decaNLP), a challenge that spans ten tasks:
question answering, machine translation, summarization, natural language inference, sentiment analysis, semantic role labeling, zero-shot relation extraction, goal-oriented dialogue, semantic parsing, and commonsense pronoun resolution.

We cast all tasks as question answering over a context. Furthermore, we present a new Multitask Question Answering Network (MQAN) jointly learns all tasks in decaNLP without any task-specific modules or parameters in the multitask setting. MQAN shows improvements in transfer learning for machine translation and named entity recognition, domain adaptation for sentiment analysis and natural language inference, and zero-shot capabilities for text classification. We demonstrate that the MQAN's multi-pointer-generator decoder is key to this success and performance further improves with an anti-curriculum training strategy.

Though designed for decaNLP, MQAN also achieves state of the art results on the WikiSQL semantic parsing task in the single-task setting.

We release code for procuring and processing data, training and evaluating models, and reproducing all experiments for decaNLP.

Speaker Biography

Richard Socher is Chief Scientist at Salesforce. He leads the company’s research efforts and brings state of the art artificial intelligence solutions into the platform.

Prior, Richard was an adjunct professor at the Stanford Computer Science Department and the CEO and founder of MetaMind, a startup acquired by Salesforce in April 2016. MetaMind’s deep learning AI platform analyzes, labels and makes predictions on image and text data so businesses can make smarter, faster and more accurate decisions.

Richard was awarded the Distinguished Application Paper Award at the International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML) 2011, the 2011 Yahoo! Key Scientific Challenges Award, a Microsoft Research PhD Fellowship in 2012, a 2013 "Magic Grant" from the Brown Institute for Media Innovation, the best Stanford CS PhD thesis award 2014 and the 2014 GigaOM Structure Award. He is currently a member of the World Economic Forum's 'Young Global Leaders' Class of 2017 and on the Board of Directors for the Global Fund for Women.

Dr. Richard Socher