Alp Öktem


2020

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Participatory Research for Low-resourced Machine Translation: A Case Study in African Languages
Wilhelmina Nekoto | Vukosi Marivate | Tshinondiwa Matsila | Timi Fasubaa | Taiwo Fagbohungbe | Solomon Oluwole Akinola | Shamsuddeen Muhammad | Salomon Kabongo Kabenamualu | Salomey Osei | Freshia Sackey | Rubungo Andre Niyongabo | Ricky Macharm | Perez Ogayo | Orevaoghene Ahia | Musie Meressa Berhe | Mofetoluwa Adeyemi | Masabata Mokgesi-Selinga | Lawrence Okegbemi | Laura Martinus | Kolawole Tajudeen | Kevin Degila | Kelechi Ogueji | Kathleen Siminyu | Julia Kreutzer | Jason Webster | Jamiil Toure Ali | Jade Abbott | Iroro Orife | Ignatius Ezeani | Idris Abdulkadir Dangana | Herman Kamper | Hady Elsahar | Goodness Duru | Ghollah Kioko | Murhabazi Espoir | Elan van Biljon | Daniel Whitenack | Christopher Onyefuluchi | Chris Chinenye Emezue | Bonaventure F. P. Dossou | Blessing Sibanda | Blessing Bassey | Ayodele Olabiyi | Arshath Ramkilowan | Alp Öktem | Adewale Akinfaderin | Abdallah Bashir
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2020

Research in NLP lacks geographic diversity, and the question of how NLP can be scaled to low-resourced languages has not yet been adequately solved. ‘Low-resourced’-ness is a complex problem going beyond data availability and reflects systemic problems in society. In this paper, we focus on the task of Machine Translation (MT), that plays a crucial role for information accessibility and communication worldwide. Despite immense improvements in MT over the past decade, MT is centered around a few high-resourced languages. As MT researchers cannot solve the problem of low-resourcedness alone, we propose participatory research as a means to involve all necessary agents required in the MT development process. We demonstrate the feasibility and scalability of participatory research with a case study on MT for African languages. Its implementation leads to a collection of novel translation datasets, MT benchmarks for over 30 languages, with human evaluations for a third of them, and enables participants without formal training to make a unique scientific contribution. Benchmarks, models, data, code, and evaluation results are released at https://github.com/masakhane-io/masakhane-mt.

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Empowering translators of marginalized languages through the use of language technology
Alp Öktem | Manuel Locria | Eric Paquin | Grace Tang
Workshop on the Impact of Machine Translation (iMpacT 2020)

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TICO-19: the Translation Initiative for COvid-19
Antonios Anastasopoulos | Alessandro Cattelan | Zi-Yi Dou | Marcello Federico | Christian Federmann | Dmitriy Genzel | Franscisco Guzmán | Junjie Hu | Macduff Hughes | Philipp Koehn | Rosie Lazar | Will Lewis | Graham Neubig | Mengmeng Niu | Alp Öktem | Eric Paquin | Grace Tang | Sylwia Tur
Proceedings of the 1st Workshop on NLP for COVID-19 (Part 2) at EMNLP 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic is the worst pandemic to strike the world in over a century. Crucial to stemming the tide of the SARS-CoV-2 virus is communicating to vulnerable populations the means by which they can protect themselves. To this end, the collaborators forming the Translation Initiative for COvid-19 (TICO-19) have made test and development data available to AI and MT researchers in 35 different languages in order to foster the development of tools and resources for improving access to information about COVID-19 in these languages. In addition to 9 high-resourced, ”pivot” languages, the team is targeting 26 lesser resourced languages, in particular languages of Africa, South Asia and South-East Asia, whose populations may be the most vulnerable to the spread of the virus. The same data is translated into all of the languages represented, meaning that testing or development can be done for any pairing of languages in the set. Further, the team is converting the test and development data into translation memories (TMXs) that can be used by localizers from and to any of the languages.

2017

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Automatic Extraction of Parallel Speech Corpora from Dubbed Movies
Alp Öktem | Mireia Farrús | Leo Wanner
Proceedings of the 10th Workshop on Building and Using Comparable Corpora

This paper presents a methodology to extract parallel speech corpora based on any language pair from dubbed movies, together with an application framework in which some corresponding prosodic parameters are extracted. The obtained parallel corpora are especially suitable for speech-to-speech translation applications when a prosody transfer between source and target languages is desired.

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Revising the METU-Sabancı Turkish Treebank: An Exercise in Surface-Syntactic Annotation of Agglutinative Languages
Alicia Burga | Alp Öktem | Leo Wanner
Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on Dependency Linguistics (Depling 2017)