Léo Laugier

Also published as: Leo Laugier


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Harmful Language Datasets: An Assessment of Robustness
Katerina Korre | John Pavlopoulos | Jeffrey Sorensen | Léo Laugier | Ion Androutsopoulos | Lucas Dixon | Alberto Barrón-cedeño
The 7th Workshop on Online Abuse and Harms (WOAH)

The automated detection of harmful language has been of great importance for the online world, especially with the growing importance of social media and, consequently, polarisation. There are many open challenges to high quality detection of harmful text, from dataset creation to generalisable application, thus calling for more systematic studies. In this paper, we explore re-annotation as a means of examining the robustness of already existing labelled datasets, showing that, despite using alternative definitions, the inter-annotator agreement remains very inconsistent, highlighting the intrinsically subjective and variable nature of the task. In addition, we build automatic toxicity detectors using the existing datasets, with their original labels, and we evaluate them on our multi-definition and multi-source datasets. Surprisingly, while other studies show that hate speech detection models perform better on data that are derived from the same distribution as the training set, our analysis demonstrates this is not necessarily true.

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CRAB: Assessing the Strength of Causal Relationships Between Real-world Events
Angelika Romanou | Syrielle Montariol | Debjit Paul | Leo Laugier | Karl Aberer | Antoine Bosselut
Proceedings of the 2023 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Understanding narratives requires reasoning about the cause-and-effect relationships between events mentioned in the text. While existing foundation models yield impressive results in many NLP tasks requiring reasoning, it is unclear whether they understand the complexity of the underlying network of causal relationships of events in narratives. In this work, we present CRAB, a new Causal Reasoning Assessment Benchmark designed to evaluate causal understanding of events in real-world narratives. CRAB contains fine-grained, contextual causality annotations for ~2.7K pairs of real-world events that describe various newsworthy event timelines (e.g., the acquisition of Twitter by Elon Musk). Using CRAB, we measure the performance of several large language models, demonstrating that most systems achieve poor performance on the task. Motivated by classical causal principles, we also analyze the causal structures of groups of events in CRAB, and find that models perform worse on causal reasoning when events are derived from complex causal structures compared to simple linear causal chains. We make our dataset and code available to the research community.

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JUAGE at SemEval-2023 Task 10: Parameter Efficient Classification
Jeffrey Sorensen | Katerina Korre | John Pavlopoulos | Katrin Tomanek | Nithum Thain | Lucas Dixon | Léo Laugier
Proceedings of the 17th International Workshop on Semantic Evaluation (SemEval-2023)

Using pre-trained language models to implement classifiers from small to modest amounts of training data is an area of active research. The ability of large language models to generalize from few-shot examples and to produce strong classifiers is extended using the engineering approach of parameter-efficient tuning. Using the Explainable Detection of Online Sexism (EDOS) training data and a small number of trainable weights to create a tuned prompt vector, a competitive model for this task was built, which was top-ranked in Subtask B.


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From the Detection of Toxic Spans in Online Discussions to the Analysis of Toxic-to-Civil Transfer
John Pavlopoulos | Leo Laugier | Alexandros Xenos | Jeffrey Sorensen | Ion Androutsopoulos
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

We study the task of toxic spans detection, which concerns the detection of the spans that make a text toxic, when detecting such spans is possible. We introduce a dataset for this task, ToxicSpans, which we release publicly. By experimenting with several methods, we show that sequence labeling models perform best, but methods that add generic rationale extraction mechanisms on top of classifiers trained to predict if a post is toxic or not are also surprisingly promising. Finally, we use ToxicSpans and systems trained on it, to provide further analysis of state-of-the-art toxic to non-toxic transfer systems, as well as of human performance on that latter task. Our work highlights challenges in finer toxicity detection and mitigation.


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Civil Rephrases Of Toxic Texts With Self-Supervised Transformers
Léo Laugier | John Pavlopoulos | Jeffrey Sorensen | Lucas Dixon
Proceedings of the 16th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Main Volume

Platforms that support online commentary, from social networks to news sites, are increasingly leveraging machine learning to assist their moderation efforts. But this process does not typically provide feedback to the author that would help them contribute according to the community guidelines. This is prohibitively time-consuming for human moderators to do, and computational approaches are still nascent. This work focuses on models that can help suggest rephrasings of toxic comments in a more civil manner. Inspired by recent progress in unpaired sequence-to-sequence tasks, a self-supervised learning model is introduced, called CAE-T5. CAE-T5 employs a pre-trained text-to-text transformer, which is fine tuned with a denoising and cyclic auto-encoder loss. Experimenting with the largest toxicity detection dataset to date (Civil Comments) our model generates sentences that are more fluent and better at preserving the initial content compared to earlier text style transfer systems which we compare with using several scoring systems and human evaluation.

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SemEval-2021 Task 5: Toxic Spans Detection
John Pavlopoulos | Jeffrey Sorensen | Léo Laugier | Ion Androutsopoulos
Proceedings of the 15th International Workshop on Semantic Evaluation (SemEval-2021)

The Toxic Spans Detection task of SemEval-2021 required participants to predict the spans of toxic posts that were responsible for the toxic label of the posts. The task could be addressed as supervised sequence labeling, using training data with gold toxic spans provided by the organisers. It could also be treated as rationale extraction, using classifiers trained on potentially larger external datasets of posts manually annotated as toxic or not, without toxic span annotations. For the supervised sequence labeling approach and evaluation purposes, posts previously labeled as toxic were crowd-annotated for toxic spans. Participants submitted their predicted spans for a held-out test set and were scored using character-based F1. This overview summarises the work of the 36 teams that provided system descriptions.