Neural Creative Language Generation (PhD Defense Practice Talk)

When:
Friday, May 4, 2018, 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm PSTiCal
Where:
Conf. Rm #1135
This event is open to the public.
Type:
NL Seminar
Speaker:
Marjan Ghazvininejad (ISI)
Description:

Abstract:  Natural language generation (NLG) is a well-studied and still very challenging field in natural language processing. One of the less studied NLG tasks is the generation of creative texts such as jokes, puns, or poems. Multiple reasons contribute to the difficulty of research in this area. First, no immediate application exists for creative language generation. This has made the research on creative NLG extremely diverse, having different goals, assumptions, and constraints. Second, no quantitative measure exists for creative NLG tasks. Consequently, it is often difficult to tune the parameters of creative generation models and drive improvements to these systems. Lack of a quantitative metric and the absence of a well-defined immediate application makes comparing different methods and finding the state of the art an almost impossible task in this area. Finally, rule-based systems for creative language generation are not yet combined with deep learning methods. Rule-based systems are powerful in capturing human knowledge, but it is often too time-consuming to present all the required knowledge in rules. On the other hand, deep learning models can automatically extract knowledge from the data, but they often miss out some essential knowledge that can be easily captured in rule-based systems.

In this work, we address these challenges for poetry generation, which is one of the main areas of creative language generation. We introduce password poems as a new application for poetry generation. These passwords are highly secure, and we show that they are easier to recall and preferable compared to passwords created by other methods that guarantee the same level of security. Furthermore, we combine finite-state machinery with deep learning models in a system for generating poems for any given topic. We introduce a quantitative metric for evaluating the generated poems and build the first interactive poetry generation system that enables users to revise system generated poems by adjusting style configuration settings like alliteration, concreteness and the sentiment of the poem. The system interface also allows users to rate the quality of the poem. We collect users’ rating for poems with various style settings and use them to automatically tune the system style parameters. In order to improve the coherence of generated poems, we introduce a method to borrow ideas from existing human literature and build a poetry translation system. We study how poetry translation is different from translation of non-creative texts by measuring the language variation added during the translation process. We show that humans translate poems much more freely compared to general texts. Based on this observation, we build a machine translation system specifically for translating poetry which uses language variation in the translation process to generate rhythmic and rhyming translations.

Bio: Marjan Ghazvininejad is a Ph.D. student at ISI working with Professor Kevin Knight.

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