Alessandra Cervone (Amazon) “Controllable Text Generation for Creative Applications @ Hackerman Hall B17
Mar 17 @ 12:00 pm – 1:15 pm


Recent advances in large pretrained language models have unlocked new exciting applications for Natural Language Generation for creative tasks, such as lyrics or humour generation. In this talk we will discuss recent works by our team at Alexa AI and discuss current challenges: (1) Pun understanding and generation: We release new datasets for pun understanding and the novel task of context-situated pun generation, and demonstrate the value of our annotations for pun classification and generation tasks. (2) Song lyric generation: we design a hierarchical lyric generation framework that enables us to generate pleasantly-singable lyrics without training on melody-lyric aligned data, and show that our approach is competitive with strong baselines supervised on parallel data. (3) Create with Alexa: a multimodal story creation experience recently launched on Alexa devices, which leverages story text generation models in tandem with story visualization and background music generation models to produce multimodal stories for kids.


Alessandra Cervone is an Applied Scientist in the Natural Understanding team at Amazon Alexa AI. Alessandra holds an MSc in Speech and Language Processing from University of Edinburgh and a PhD in CS from University of Trento (Italy). During her PhD, Alessandra worked on computational models of coherence in open-domain dialogue advised by Giuseppe Riccardi. In the first year of the PhD, she was the team leader of one of the teams selected to compete in the first edition of the Alexa Prize. More recently, her research interests have been focused on natural language generation and its evaluation, in particular in the context of creative AI applications.

Center for Language and Speech Processing