Challenges in Emotion Style Transfer: An Exploration with a Lexical Substitution Pipeline

WS 2020 David HelbigEnrica TroianoRoman Klinger

We propose the task of emotion style transfer, which is particularly challenging, as emotions (here: anger, disgust, fear, joy, sadness, surprise) are on the fence between content and style. To understand the particular difficulties of this task, we design a transparent emotion style transfer pipeline based on three steps: (1) select the words that are promising to be substituted to change the emotion (with a brute-force approach and selection based on the attention mechanism of an emotion classifier), (2) find sets of words as candidates for substituting the words (based on lexical and distributional semantics), and (3) select the most promising combination of substitutions with an objective function which consists of components for content (based on BERT sentence embeddings), emotion (based on an emotion classifier), and fluency (based on a neural language model)... (read more)

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