A Survey of Race, Racism, and Anti-Racism in NLP

Anjalie Field, Su Lin Blodgett, Zeerak Waseem, Yulia Tsvetkov


Abstract
Despite inextricable ties between race and language, little work has considered race in NLP research and development. In this work, we survey 79 papers from the ACL anthology that mention race. These papers reveal various types of race-related bias in all stages of NLP model development, highlighting the need for proactive consideration of how NLP systems can uphold racial hierarchies. However, persistent gaps in research on race and NLP remain: race has been siloed as a niche topic and remains ignored in many NLP tasks; most work operationalizes race as a fixed single-dimensional variable with a ground-truth label, which risks reinforcing differences produced by historical racism; and the voices of historically marginalized people are nearly absent in NLP literature. By identifying where and how NLP literature has and has not considered race, especially in comparison to related fields, our work calls for inclusion and racial justice in NLP research practices.
Anthology ID:
2021.acl-long.149
Volume:
Proceedings of the 59th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 11th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (Volume 1: Long Papers)
Month:
August
Year:
2021
Address:
Online
Venues:
ACL | IJCNLP
SIG:
Publisher:
Association for Computational Linguistics
Note:
Pages:
1905–1925
Language:
URL:
https://aclanthology.org/2021.acl-long.149
DOI:
10.18653/v1/2021.acl-long.149
Bibkey:
Cite (ACL):
Anjalie Field, Su Lin Blodgett, Zeerak Waseem, and Yulia Tsvetkov. 2021. A Survey of Race, Racism, and Anti-Racism in NLP. In Proceedings of the 59th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 11th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (Volume 1: Long Papers), pages 1905–1925, Online. Association for Computational Linguistics.
Cite (Informal):
A Survey of Race, Racism, and Anti-Racism in NLP (Field et al., ACL-IJCNLP 2021)
Copy Citation:
PDF:
https://aclanthology.org/2021.acl-long.149.pdf
Video:
 https://aclanthology.org/2021.acl-long.149.mp4
Data
Hate Speech