Alexandra Olteanu


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Responsible AI Considerations in Text Summarization Research: A Review of Current Practices
Yu Lu Liu | Meng Cao | Su Lin Blodgett | Jackie Chi Kit Cheung | Alexandra Olteanu | Adam Trischler
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2023

AI and NLP publication venues have increasingly encouraged researchers to reflect on possible ethical considerations, adverse impacts, and other responsible AI issues their work might engender. However, for specific NLP tasks our understanding of how prevalent such issues are, or when and why these issues are likely to arise, remains limited. Focusing on text summarization—a common NLP task largely overlooked by the responsible AI community—we examine research and reporting practices in the current literature. We conduct a multi-round qualitative analysis of 333 summarization papers from the ACL Anthology published between 2020–2022. We focus on how, which, and when responsible AI issues are covered, which relevant stakeholders are considered, and mismatches between stated and realized research goals. We also discuss current evaluation practices and consider how authors discuss the limitations of both prior work and their own work. Overall, we find that relatively few papers engage with possible stakeholders or contexts of use, which limits their consideration of potential downstream adverse impacts or other responsible AI issues. Based on our findings, we make recommendations on concrete practices and research directions.

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FairPrism: Evaluating Fairness-Related Harms in Text Generation
Eve Fleisig | Aubrie Amstutz | Chad Atalla | Su Lin Blodgett | Hal Daumé III | Alexandra Olteanu | Emily Sheng | Dan Vann | Hanna Wallach
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

It is critical to measure and mitigate fairness-related harms caused by AI text generation systems, including stereotyping and demeaning harms. To that end, we introduce FairPrism, a dataset of 5,000 examples of AI-generated English text with detailed human annotations covering a diverse set of harms relating to gender and sexuality. FairPrism aims to address several limitations of existing datasets for measuring and mitigating fairness-related harms, including improved transparency, clearer specification of dataset coverage, and accounting for annotator disagreement and harms that are context-dependent. FairPrism’s annotations include the extent of stereotyping and demeaning harms, the demographic groups targeted, and appropriateness for different applications. The annotations also include specific harms that occur in interactive contexts and harms that raise normative concerns when the “speaker” is an AI system. Due to its precision and granularity, FairPrism can be used to diagnose (1) the types of fairness-related harms that AI text generation systems cause, and (2) the potential limitations of mitigation methods, both of which we illustrate through case studies. Finally, the process we followed to develop FairPrism offers a recipe for building improved datasets for measuring and mitigating harms caused by AI systems.

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The KITMUS Test: Evaluating Knowledge Integration from Multiple Sources
Akshatha Arodi | Martin Pömsl | Kaheer Suleman | Adam Trischler | Alexandra Olteanu | Jackie Chi Kit Cheung
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Many state-of-the-art natural language understanding (NLU) models are based on pretrained neural language models. These models often make inferences using information from multiple sources. An important class of such inferences are those that require both background knowledge, presumably contained in a model’s pretrained parameters, and instance-specific information that is supplied at inference time. However, the integration and reasoning abilities of NLU models in the presence of multiple knowledge sources have been largely understudied. In this work, we propose a test suite of coreference resolution subtasks that require reasoning over multiple facts. These subtasks differ in terms of which knowledge sources contain the relevant facts. We also introduce subtasks where knowledge is present only at inference time using fictional knowledge. We evaluate state-of-the-art coreference resolution models on our dataset. Our results indicate that several models struggle to reason on-the-fly over knowledge observed both at pretrain time and at inference time. However, with task-specific training, a subset of models demonstrates the ability to integrate certain knowledge types from multiple sources. Still, even the best performing models seem to have difficulties with reliably integrating knowledge presented only at inference time.


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Deconstructing NLG Evaluation: Evaluation Practices, Assumptions, and Their Implications
Kaitlyn Zhou | Su Lin Blodgett | Adam Trischler | Hal Daumé III | Kaheer Suleman | Alexandra Olteanu
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

There are many ways to express similar things in text, which makes evaluating natural language generation (NLG) systems difficult. Compounding this difficulty is the need to assess varying quality criteria depending on the deployment setting. While the landscape of NLG evaluation has been well-mapped, practitioners’ goals, assumptions, and constraints—which inform decisions about what, when, and how to evaluate—are often partially or implicitly stated, or not stated at all. Combining a formative semi-structured interview study of NLG practitioners (N=18) with a survey study of a broader sample of practitioners (N=61), we surface goals, community practices, assumptions, and constraints that shape NLG evaluations, examining their implications and how they embody ethical considerations.


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Stereotyping Norwegian Salmon: An Inventory of Pitfalls in Fairness Benchmark Datasets
Su Lin Blodgett | Gilsinia Lopez | Alexandra Olteanu | Robert Sim | Hanna Wallach
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)

Auditing NLP systems for computational harms like surfacing stereotypes is an elusive goal. Several recent efforts have focused on benchmark datasets consisting of pairs of contrastive sentences, which are often accompanied by metrics that aggregate an NLP system’s behavior on these pairs into measurements of harms. We examine four such benchmarks constructed for two NLP tasks: language modeling and coreference resolution. We apply a measurement modeling lens—originating from the social sciences—to inventory a range of pitfalls that threaten these benchmarks’ validity as measurement models for stereotyping. We find that these benchmarks frequently lack clear articulations of what is being measured, and we highlight a range of ambiguities and unstated assumptions that affect how these benchmarks conceptualize and operationalize stereotyping.

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ADEPT: An Adjective-Dependent Plausibility Task
Ali Emami | Ian Porada | Alexandra Olteanu | Kaheer Suleman | Adam Trischler | Jackie Chi Kit Cheung
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)

A false contract is more likely to be rejected than a contract is, yet a false key is less likely than a key to open doors. While correctly interpreting and assessing the effects of such adjective-noun pairs (e.g., false key) on the plausibility of given events (e.g., opening doors) underpins many natural language understanding tasks, doing so often requires a significant degree of world knowledge and common-sense reasoning. We introduce ADEPT – a large-scale semantic plausibility task consisting of over 16 thousand sentences that are paired with slightly modified versions obtained by adding an adjective to a noun. Overall, we find that while the task appears easier for human judges (85% accuracy), it proves more difficult for transformer-based models like RoBERTa (71% accuracy). Our experiments also show that neither the adjective itself nor its taxonomic class suffice in determining the correct plausibility judgement, emphasizing the importance of endowing automatic natural language understanding systems with more context sensitivity and common-sense reasoning.