FBK-DH at SemEval-2020 Task 12: Using Multi-channel BERT for Multilingual Offensive Language Detection

In this paper we present our submission to sub-task A at SemEval 2020 Task 12: Multilingual Offensive Language Identification in Social Media (OffensEval2). For Danish, Turkish, Arabic and Greek, we develop an architecture based on transfer learning and relying on a two-channel BERT model, in which the English BERT and the multilingual one are combined after creating a machine-translated parallel corpus for each language in the task. For English, instead, we adopt a more standard, single-channel approach. We find that, in a multilingual scenario, with some languages having small training data, using parallel BERT models with machine translated data can give systems more stability, especially when dealing with noisy data. The fact that machine translation on social media data may not be perfect does not hurt the overall classification performance.

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