Global models are typically trained to be as generalizable as possible. Invariance to the specific user is considered desirable since models are shared across multitudes of users. However, these models are often unable to produce personalized responses for individual users, based on their data. Contrary to widely-used personalization techniques based on few-shot and meta-learning, we propose UserIdentifier, a novel scheme for training a single shared model for all users. Our approach produces personalized responses by prepending a fixed, user-specific non-trainable string (called “user identifier”) to each user’s input text. Unlike prior work, this method doesn’t need any additional model parameters, any extra rounds of personal few-shot learning or any change made to the vocabulary. We empirically study different types of user identifiers (numeric, alphanumeric, and also randomly generated) and demonstrate that, surprisingly, randomly generated user identifiers outperform the prefix-tuning based state-of-the-art approach by up to 13, on a suite of sentiment analysis datasets.
Recent work on controlled text generation has either required attribute-based fine-tuning of the base language model (LM), or has restricted the parameterization of the attribute discriminator to be compatible with the base autoregressive LM. In this work, we propose Mix and Match LM, a global score-based alternative for controllable text generation that combines arbitrary pre-trained black-box models for achieving the desired attributes in the generated text without involving any fine-tuning or structural assumptions about the black-box models. We interpret the task of controllable generation as drawing samples from an energy-based model whose energy values are a linear combination of scores from black-box models that are separately responsible for fluency, the control attribute, and faithfulness to any conditioning context. We use a Metropolis-Hastings sampling scheme to sample from this energy-based model using bidirectional context and global attribute features. We validate the effectiveness of our approach on various controlled generation and style-based text revision tasks by outperforming recently proposed methods that involve extra training, fine-tuning, or restrictive assumptions over the form of models.
Text style can reveal sensitive attributes of the author (e.g. age and race) to the reader, which can, in turn, lead to privacy violations and bias in both human and algorithmic decisions based on text. For example, the style of writing in job applications might reveal protected attributes of the candidate which could lead to bias in hiring decisions, regardless of whether hiring decisions are made algorithmically or by humans. We propose a VAE-based framework that obfuscates stylistic features of human-generated text through style transfer, by automatically re-writing the text itself. Critically, our framework operationalizes the notion of obfuscated style in a flexible way that enables two distinct notions of obfuscated style: (1) a minimal notion that effectively intersects the various styles seen in training, and (2) a maximal notion that seeks to obfuscate by adding stylistic features of all sensitive attributes to text, in effect, computing a union of styles. Our style-obfuscation framework can be used for multiple purposes, however, we demonstrate its effectiveness in improving the fairness of downstream classifiers. We also conduct a comprehensive study on style-pooling’s effect on fluency, semantic consistency, and attribute removal from text, in two and three domain style transfer.
Neural language models are known to have a high capacity for memorization of training samples. This may have serious privacy im- plications when training models on user content such as email correspondence. Differential privacy (DP), a popular choice to train models with privacy guarantees, comes with significant costs in terms of utility degradation and disparate impact on subgroups of users. In this work, we introduce two privacy-preserving regularization methods for training language models that enable joint optimization of utility and privacy through (1) the use of a discriminator and (2) the inclusion of a novel triplet-loss term. We compare our methods with DP through extensive evaluation. We show the advantages of our regularizers with favorable utility-privacy trade-off, faster training with the ability to tap into existing optimization approaches, and ensuring uniform treatment of under-represented subgroups.