Language Modelling as a Multi-Task Problem

Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics (EACL)


In this paper, we propose to study language modeling as a multi-task problem, bringing together three strands of research: multitask learning, linguistics, and interpretability. Based on hypotheses derived from linguistic theory, we investigate whether language models adhere to learning principles of multi-task learning during training. We showcase the idea by analysing the generalization behavior of language models during learning of the linguistic concept of Negative Polarity Items (NPIs). Our experiments demonstrate that a multi-task setting naturally emerges within the objective of the more general task of language modeling. We argue that this insight is valuable for multi-task learning, linguistics and interpretability research and can lead to exciting new findings in all three domains.

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