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Time to Take Emoji Seriously: They Vastly Improve Casual Conversational Models

by   Pieter Delobelle, et al.

Graphical emoji are ubiquitous in modern-day online conversations. So is a single thumbs-up emoji able to signify an agreement, without any words. We argue that the current state-of-the-art systems are ill-equipped to correctly interpret these emoji, especially in a conversational context. However, in a casual context, the benefits might be high: a better understanding of users' utterances and more natural, emoji-rich responses. With this in mind, we modify BERT to fully support emoji, both from the Unicode Standard and custom emoji. This modified BERT is then trained on a corpus of question-answer (QA) tuples with a high number of emoji, where we're able to increase the 1-of-100 accuracy from 12.7 state-of-the-art to 17.8


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