Text Classification of COVID-19 Press Briefings using BERT and Convolutional Neural Networks

10/20/2020
by   Kakia Chatsiou, et al.
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We build a sentence-level political discourse classifier using existing human expert annotated corpora of political manifestos from the Manifestos Project (Volkens et al.,2020a) and applying them to a corpus ofCOVID-19Press Briefings (Chatsiou,2020). We use manually annotated political manifestos as training data to train a local topic ConvolutionalNeural Network (CNN) classifier; then apply it to the COVID-19PressBriefings Corpus to automatically classify sentences in the test corpus.We report on a series of experiments with CNN trained on top of pre-trained embeddings for sentence-level classification tasks. We show thatCNN combined with transformers like BERT outperforms CNN combined with other embeddings (Word2Vec, Glove, ELMo) and that it is possible to use a pre-trained classifier to conduct automatic classification on different political texts without additional training.

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