The use of crowdworkers in NLP research is growing rapidly, in tandem with the exponential increase in research production in machine learning and AI. Ethical discussion regarding the use of crowdworkers within the NLP research community is typically confined in scope to issues related to labor conditions such as fair pay. We draw attention to the lack of ethical considerations related to the various tasks performed by workers, including labeling, evaluation, and production. We find that the Final Rule, the common ethical framework used by researchers, did not anticipate the use of online crowdsourcing platforms for data collection, resulting in gaps between the spirit and practice of human-subjects ethics in NLP research. We enumerate common scenarios where crowdworkers performing NLP tasks are at risk of harm. We thus recommend that researchers evaluate these risks by considering the three ethical principles set up by the Belmont Report. We also clarify some common misconceptions regarding the Institutional Review Board (IRB) application. We hope this paper will serve to reopen the discussion within our community regarding the ethical use of crowdworkers.
Datasets with induced emotion labels are scarce but of utmost importance for many NLP tasks. We present a new, automated method for collecting texts along with their induced reaction labels. The method exploits the online use of reaction GIFs, which capture complex affective states. We show how to augment the data with induced emotion and induced sentiment labels. We use our method to create and publish ReactionGIF, a first-of-its-kind affective dataset of 30K tweets. We provide baselines for three new tasks, including induced sentiment prediction and multilabel classification of induced emotions. Our method and dataset open new research opportunities in emotion detection and affective computing.
Sarcasm detection is an important task in affective computing, requiring large amounts of labeled data. We introduce reactive supervision, a novel data collection method that utilizes the dynamics of online conversations to overcome the limitations of existing data collection techniques. We use the new method to create and release a first-of-its-kind large dataset of tweets with sarcasm perspective labels and new contextual features. The dataset is expected to advance sarcasm detection research. Our method can be adapted to other affective computing domains, thus opening up new research opportunities.