David Gros


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Robots-Dont-Cry: Understanding Falsely Anthropomorphic Utterances in Dialog Systems
David Gros | Yu Li | Zhou Yu
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Dialog systems are often designed or trained to output human-like responses. However, some responses may be impossible for a machine to truthfully say (e.g. “that movie made me cry”). Highly anthropomorphic responses might make users uncomfortable or implicitly deceive them into thinking they are interacting with a human. We collect human ratings on the feasibility of approximately 900 two-turn dialogs sampled from 9 diverse data sources. Ratings are for two hypothetical machine embodiments: a futuristic humanoid robot and a digital assistant. We find that for some data-sources commonly used to train dialog systems, 20-30% of utterances are not viewed as possible for a machine. Rating is marginally affected by machine embodiment. We explore qualitative and quantitative reasons for these ratings. Finally, we build classifiers and explore how modeling configuration might affect output permissibly, and discuss implications for building less falsely anthropomorphic dialog systems.

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Cross-Domain Detection of GPT-2-Generated Technical Text
Juan Diego Rodriguez | Todd Hay | David Gros | Zain Shamsi | Ravi Srinivasan
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Machine-generated text presents a potential threat not only to the public sphere, but also to the scientific enterprise, whereby genuine research is undermined by convincing, synthetic text. In this paper we examine the problem of detecting GPT-2-generated technical research text. We first consider the realistic scenario where the defender does not have full information about the adversary’s text generation pipeline, but is able to label small amounts of in-domain genuine and synthetic text in order to adapt to the target distribution. Even in the extreme scenario of adapting a physics-domain detector to a biomedical detector, we find that only a few hundred labels are sufficient for good performance. Finally, we show that paragraph-level detectors can be used to detect the tampering of full-length documents under a variety of threat models.


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The R-U-A-Robot Dataset: Helping Avoid Chatbot Deception by Detecting User Questions About Human or Non-Human Identity
David Gros | Yu Li | Zhou Yu
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)

Humans are increasingly interacting with machines through language, sometimes in contexts where the user may not know they are talking to a machine (like over the phone or a text chatbot). We aim to understand how system designers and researchers might allow their systems to confirm its non-human identity. We collect over 2,500 phrasings related to the intent of “Are you a robot?”. This is paired with over 2,500 adversarially selected utterances where only confirming the system is non-human would be insufficient or disfluent. We compare classifiers to recognize the intent and discuss the precision/recall and model complexity tradeoffs. Such classifiers could be integrated into dialog systems to avoid undesired deception. We then explore how both a generative research model (Blender) as well as two deployed systems (Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant) handle this intent, finding that systems often fail to confirm their non-human identity. Finally, we try to understand what a good response to the intent would be, and conduct a user study to compare the important aspects when responding to this intent.