Recently pre-trained multimodal models, such as CLIP, have shown exceptional capabilities towards connecting images and natural language. The textual representations in English can be desirably transferred to multilingualism and support downstream multimodal tasks for different languages. Nevertheless, the principle of multilingual fairness is rarely scrutinized: do multilingual multimodal models treat languages equally? Are their performances biased towards particular languages? To answer these questions, we view language as the fairness recipient and introduce two new fairness notions, multilingual individual fairness and multilingual group fairness, for pre-trained multimodal models. Multilingual individual fairness requires that text snippets expressing similar semantics in different languages connect similarly to images, while multilingual group fairness requires equalized predictive performance across languages. We characterize the extent to which pre-trained multilingual vision-and-language representations are individually fair across languages. However, extensive experiments demonstrate that multilingual representations do not satisfy group fairness: (1) there is a severe multilingual accuracy disparity issue; (2) the errors exhibit biases across languages conditioning the group of people in the images, including race, gender and age.
Are Gender-Neutral Queries Really Gender-Neutral? Mitigating Gender Bias in Image Search
Jialu Wang | Yang Liu | Xin Wang
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing
Internet search affects people’s cognition of the world, so mitigating biases in search results and learning fair models is imperative for social good. We study a unique gender bias in image search in this work: the search images are often gender-imbalanced for gender-neutral natural language queries. We diagnose two typical image search models, the specialized model trained on in-domain datasets and the generalized representation model pre-trained on massive image and text data across the internet. Both models suffer from severe gender bias. Therefore, we introduce two novel debiasing approaches: an in-processing fair sampling method to address the gender imbalance issue for training models, and a post-processing feature clipping method base on mutual information to debias multimodal representations of pre-trained models. Extensive experiments on MS-COCO and Flickr30K benchmarks show that our methods significantly reduce the gender bias in image search models.