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PRESTO – A multilingual dataset for parsing lifelike task-oriented dialogues – Google AI Weblog

Digital assistants are more and more built-in into our each day routines. They may help with every part from setting alarms to giving map instructions and might even help individuals with disabilities to extra simply handle their properties. As we use these assistants, we’re additionally changing into extra accustomed to utilizing pure language to perform duties that we as soon as did by hand.

One of many largest challenges in constructing a strong digital assistant is figuring out what a consumer needs and what data is required to carry out the duty at hand. Within the pure language processing (NLP) literature, that is primarily framed as a task-oriented dialogue parsing job, the place a given dialogue must be parsed by a system to grasp the consumer intent and perform the operation to meet that intent. Whereas the educational neighborhood has made progress in dealing with task-oriented dialogue because of customized function datasets, resembling MultiWOZ, TOP, SMCalFlow, and so forth., progress is proscribed as a result of these datasets lack typical speech phenomena obligatory for mannequin coaching to optimize language mannequin efficiency. The ensuing fashions typically underperform, resulting in dissatisfaction with assistant interactions. Related speech patterns would possibly embrace revisions, disfluencies, code-mixing, and the usage of structured context surrounding the consumer’s surroundings, which could embrace the consumer’s notes, good residence gadgets, contact lists, and so forth.

Contemplate the next dialogue that illustrates a standard occasion when a consumer must revise their utterance:

A dialogue dialog with a digital assistant that features a consumer revision.

The digital assistant misunderstands the request and makes an attempt to name the wrong contact. Therefore, the consumer has to revise their utterance to repair the assistant’s mistake. To parse the final utterance accurately, the assistant would additionally have to interpret the particular context of the consumer — on this case, it could have to know that the consumer had a contact record saved of their cellphone that it ought to reference.

One other widespread class of utterance that’s difficult for digital assistants is code-mixing, which happens when the consumer switches from one language to a different whereas addressing the assistant. Contemplate the utterance beneath:

A dialogue denoting code-mixing between English and German.

On this instance, the consumer switches from English to German, the place “vier Uhr” means “4 o’clock” in German.

In an effort to advance analysis in parsing such lifelike and complicated utterances, we’re launching a brand new dataset known as PRESTO, a multilingual dataset for parsing lifelike task-oriented dialogues that features roughly half one million lifelike conversations between individuals and digital assistants. The dataset spans six totally different languages and consists of a number of conversational phenomena that customers could encounter when utilizing an assistant, together with user-revisions, disfluencies, and code-mixing. The dataset additionally consists of surrounding structured context, resembling customers’ contacts and lists related to every instance. The express tagging of varied phenomena in PRESTO permits us to create totally different check units to individually analyze mannequin efficiency on these speech phenomena. We discover that a few of these phenomena are simpler to mannequin with few-shot examples, whereas others require way more coaching knowledge.

Dataset traits

  1. Conversations by native audio system in six languages
    All conversations in our dataset are supplied by native audio system of six languages — English, French, German, Hindi, Japanese, and Spanish. That is in distinction to different datasets, resembling MTOP and MASSIVE, that translate utterances solely from English to different languages, which doesn’t essentially replicate the speech patterns of native audio system in non-English languages.
  2. Structured context
    Customers typically depend on the knowledge saved of their gadgets, resembling notes, contacts, and lists, when interacting with digital assistants. Nevertheless, this context is commonly not accessible to the assistant, which may end up in parsing errors when processing consumer utterances. To deal with this problem, PRESTO consists of three sorts of structured context, notes, lists, and contacts, in addition to consumer utterances and their parses. The lists, notes, and contacts are authored by native audio system of every language throughout knowledge assortment. Having such context permits us to look at how this data can be utilized to enhance efficiency on parsing task-oriented dialog fashions.
    Every instance in PRESTO consists of: Inputs — A consumer’s digital state (context), a number of consumer utterances, and the corresponding digital assistant responses (dialogue). Output — The semantic parsing of the final consumer utterance within the dialogue (parse).
  3. Consumer revisions
    It is not uncommon for a consumer to revise or appropriate their very own utterances whereas chatting with a digital assistant. These revisions occur for quite a lot of causes — the assistant may have made a mistake in understanding the utterance or the consumer might need modified their thoughts whereas making an utterance. One such instance is within the determine above. Different examples of revisions embrace canceling one’s request (‘’Don’t add something.”) or correcting oneself in the identical utterance (“Add bread — no, no wait — add wheat bread to my purchasing record.”). Roughly 27% of all examples in PRESTO have some sort of consumer revision that’s explicitly labeled within the dataset.
  4. Code-mixing
    As of 2022, roughly 43% of the world’s inhabitants is bilingual. In consequence, many customers swap languages whereas chatting with digital assistants. In constructing PRESTO, we requested bilingual knowledge contributors to annotate code-mixed utterances, which amounted to roughly 14% of all utterances within the dataset.
    Examples of Hindi-English, Spanish-English, and German-English code-switched utterances from PRESTO.
  5. Disfluencies
    Disfluencies, like repeated phrases or filler phrases, are ubiquitous in consumer utterances as a result of spoken nature of the conversations that the digital assistants obtain. Datasets resembling DISFL-QA notice the dearth of such phenomena in current NLP literature and contribute in direction of the aim of assuaging that hole. In our work, we embrace conversations concentrating on this explicit phenomenon throughout all six languages.
    Examples of utterances in English, Japanese, and French with filler phrases or repetitions.

Key findings

We carried out focused experiments to deal with every of the phenomena described above. We ran mT5-based fashions skilled utilizing the PRESTO dataset and evaluated them utilizing a precise match between the anticipated parse and the human annotated parse. Under we present the relative efficiency enhancements as we scale the coaching knowledge on every of the focused phenomena — consumer revisions, disfluencies, and code-mixing.

Okay-shot outcomes on numerous linguistic phenomena and the total check set throughout rising coaching knowledge dimension.

The ok-shot outcomes yield the next takeaways:

  1. Zero-shot efficiency on the marked phenomenon is poor, emphasizing the necessity for such utterances within the dataset to enhance efficiency.
  2. Disfluencies and code-mixing have a a lot better zero-shot efficiency than user-revisions (over 40 factors distinction in exact-match accuracy).

We additionally examine the distinction between coaching monolingual and multilingual fashions on the practice set and discover that with fewer knowledge multilingual fashions have a bonus over monolingual fashions, however the hole shrinks as the information dimension is elevated.

Extra particulars on knowledge high quality, knowledge assortment methodology, and modeling experiments might be present in our paper.


We created PRESTO, a multilingual dataset for parsing task-oriented dialogues that features lifelike conversations representing quite a lot of ache factors that customers typically face of their each day conversations with digital assistants which might be missing in current datasets within the NLP neighborhood. PRESTO consists of roughly half one million utterances which might be contributed by native audio system of six languages — English, French, German, Hindi, Japanese, and Spanish. We created devoted check units to deal with every focused phenomenon — consumer revisions, disfluencies, code-mixing, and structured context. Our outcomes point out that the zero-shot efficiency is poor when the focused phenomenon will not be included within the coaching set, indicating a necessity for such utterances to enhance efficiency. We discover that consumer revisions and disfluencies are simpler to mannequin with extra knowledge versus code-mixed utterances, that are more durable to mannequin, even with a excessive variety of examples. With the discharge of this dataset, we open extra questions than we reply and we hope the analysis neighborhood makes progress on utterances which might be extra in keeping with what customers are dealing with each day.


It was a privilege to collaborate on this work with Waleed Ammar, Siddharth Vashishtha, Motoki Sano, Faiz Surani, Max Chang, HyunJeong Choe, David Greene, Kyle He, Rattima Nitisaroj, Anna Trukhina, Shachi Paul, Pararth Shah, Rushin Shah, and Zhou Yu. We’d additionally wish to thank Tom Small for the animations on this weblog publish. Lastly, an enormous because of all of the skilled linguists and knowledge annotators for making this a actuality.



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