NATURE: Natural Auxiliary Text Utterances for Realistic Spoken Language Evaluation

Part of Proceedings of the Neural Information Processing Systems Track on Datasets and Benchmarks 1 (NeurIPS Datasets and Benchmarks 2021) round2

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David Alfonso-Hermelo, Ahmad Rashid, Abbas Ghaddar, Philippe Langlais, Mehdi Rezagholizadeh


Slot-filling and intent detection are the backbone of conversational agents such as voice assistants, and are active areas of research. Even though state-of-the-art techniques on publicly available benchmarks show impressive performance, their ability to generalize to realistic scenarios is yet to be demonstrated. In this work, we present NATURE, a set of simple spoken-language-oriented transformations, applied to the evaluation set of datasets, to introduce human spoken language variations while preserving the semantics of an utterance. We apply NATURE to common slot-filling and intent detection benchmarks and demonstrate that simple perturbations from the standard evaluation set by NATURE can deteriorate model performance significantly. Through our experiments we demonstrate that when NATURE operators are applied to evaluation set of popular benchmarks the model accuracy can drop by up to 40%.