Driven by the goal of eradicating language barriers on a global scale, machine translation has solidified itself as a key focus of artificial intelligence research today. However, such efforts have coalesced around a small subset of languages, leaving behind the vast majority of mostly low-resource languages. What does it take to break the 200 language barrier while ensuring safe, high-quality results, all while keeping ethical considerations in mind? In this talk, I introduce No Language Left Behind, an initiative to break language barriers for low-resource languages. In No Language Left Behind, we took on the low-resource language translation challenge by first contextualizing the need for translation support through exploratory interviews with native speakers. Then, we created datasets and models aimed at narrowing the performance gap between low and high-resource languages. We proposed multiple architectural and training improvements to counteract overfitting while training on thousands of tasks. Critically, we evaluated the performance of over 40,000 different translation directions using a human-translated benchmark, Flores-200, and combined human evaluation with a novel toxicity benchmark covering all languages in Flores-200 to assess translation safety. Our model achieves an improvement of 44% BLEU relative to the previous state-of-the-art, laying important groundwork towards realizing a universal translation system in an open-source manner.
Angela is a research scientist at Meta AI Research in New York, focusing on supporting efforts in speech and language research. Recent projects include No Language Left Behind (https://ai.facebook.com/research/no-language-left-behind/) and Universal Speech Translation for Unwritten Languages (https://ai.facebook.com/blog/ai-translation-hokkien/). Before translation, Angela previously focused on research in on-device models for NLP and computer vision and text generation.
One of the keys to success in machine learning applications is to improve each user’s personal experience via personalized models. A personalized model can be a more resource-efficient solution than a general-purpose model, too, because it focuses on a particular sub-problem, for which a smaller model architecture can be good enough. However, training a personalized model requires data from the particular test-time user, which are not always available due to their private nature and technical challenges. Furthermore, such data tend to be unlabeled as they can be collected only during the test time, once after the system is deployed to user devices. One could rely on the generalization power of a generic model, but such a model can be too computationally/spatially complex for real-time processing in a resource-constrained device. In this talk, I will present some techniques to circumvent the lack of labeled personal data in the context of speech enhancement. Our machine learning models will require zero or few data samples from the test-time users, while they can still achieve the personalization goal. To this end, we will investigate modularized speech enhancement models as well as the potential of self-supervised learning for personalized speech enhancement. Because our research achieves the personalization goal in a data- and resource-efficient way, it is a step towards a more available and affordable AI for society.
Minje Kim is an associate professor in the Dept. of Intelligent Systems Engineering at Indiana University, where he leads his research group, Signals and AI Group in Engineering (SAIGE). He is also an Amazon Visiting Academic, consulting for Amazon Lab126. At IU, he is affiliated with various programs and labs such as Data Science, Cognitive Science, Dept. of Statistics, and Center for Machine Learning. He earned his Ph.D. in the Dept. of Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Before joining UIUC, He worked as a researcher at ETRI, a national lab in Korea, from 2006 to 2011. Before then, he received his Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in the Dept. of Computer Science and Engineering at POSTECH (Summa Cum Laude) and in the Division of Information and Computer Engineering at Ajou University (with honor) in 2006 and 2004, respectively. He is a recipient of various awards including NSF Career Award (2021), IU Trustees Teaching Award (2021), IEEE SPS Best Paper Award (2020), and Google and Starkey’s grants for outstanding student papers in ICASSP 2013 and 2014, respectively. He is an IEEE Senior Member and also a member of the IEEE Audio and Acoustic Signal Processing Technical Committee (2018-2023). He is serving as an Associate Editor for EURASIP Journal of Audio, Speech, and Music Processing, and as a Consulting Associate Editor for IEEE Open Journal of Signal Processing. He is also a reviewer, program committee member, or area chair for the major machine learning and signal processing. He filed more than 50 patent applications as an inventor.