Countering language drift via visual grounding

Jason Lee, Kyunghyun Cho, Douwe Kiela

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Emergent multi-agent communication protocols are very different from natural language and not easily interpretable by humans. We find that agents that were initially pretrained to produce natural language can also experience detrimental language drift: when a non-linguistic reward is used in a goal-based task, e.g. some scalar success metric, the communication protocol may easily and radically diverge from natural language. We recast translation as a multi-agent communication game and examine auxiliary training constraints for their effectiveness in mitigating language drift. We show that a combination of syntactic (language model likelihood) and semantic (visual grounding) constraints gives the best communication performance, allowing pre-trained agents to retain English syntax while learning to accurately convey the intended meaning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEMNLP-IJCNLP 2019 - 2019 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and 9th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing, Proceedings of the Conference
PublisherAssociation for Computational Linguistics
Pages4385-4395
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781950737901
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020
Event2019 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and 9th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing, EMNLP-IJCNLP 2019 - Hong Kong, China
Duration: Nov 3 2019Nov 7 2019

Publication series

NameEMNLP-IJCNLP 2019 - 2019 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and 9th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing, Proceedings of the Conference

Conference

Conference2019 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and 9th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing, EMNLP-IJCNLP 2019
CountryChina
CityHong Kong
Period11/3/1911/7/19

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Theory and Mathematics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Information Systems

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  • Cite this

    Lee, J., Cho, K., & Kiela, D. (2020). Countering language drift via visual grounding. In EMNLP-IJCNLP 2019 - 2019 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and 9th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing, Proceedings of the Conference (pp. 4385-4395). (EMNLP-IJCNLP 2019 - 2019 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and 9th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing, Proceedings of the Conference). Association for Computational Linguistics.