TVSHOWGUESS: Character Comprehension in Stories as Speaker Guessing

Yisi Sang, Xiangyang Mou, Mo Yu, Shunyu Yao, Jing Li, Jeffrey Stanton

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

We propose a new task for assessing machines' ability to understand fictional characters in narrative stories. The task, TVSHOWGUESS, builds on the scripts of TV series and takes the form of guessing the anonymous main characters based on the backgrounds of the scenes and dialogues. Our human study supports that this form of task covers comprehension of multiple types of character persona, including understanding characters' personalities, facts and memories of personal experience, which are well aligned with the psychological and literary theories about the theory of mind (ToM) of human beings on understanding fictional characters during reading. We further propose new model architectures to support the contextualized encoding of long scene texts. Experiments show that our proposed approaches significantly outperform baselines, yet still largely lag behind the (nearly perfect) human performance. Our work serves as a first step toward the goal of narrative character comprehension.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationNAACL 2022 - 2022 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics
Subtitle of host publicationHuman Language Technologies, Proceedings of the Conference
PublisherAssociation for Computational Linguistics (ACL)
Pages4267-4287
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9781955917711
StatePublished - 2022
Event2022 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies, NAACL 2022 - Seattle, United States
Duration: Jul 10 2022Jul 15 2022

Publication series

NameNAACL 2022 - 2022 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies, Proceedings of the Conference

Conference

Conference2022 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies, NAACL 2022
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySeattle
Period7/10/227/15/22

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Information Systems
  • Software

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