Palash Goyal


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The steerability of large language models toward data-driven personas
Junyi Li | Charith Peris | Ninareh Mehrabi | Palash Goyal | Kai-Wei Chang | Aram Galstyan | Richard Zemel | Rahul Gupta
Proceedings of the 2024 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Large language models (LLMs) are known to generate biased responses where the opinions of certain groups and populations are underrepresented. Here, we present a novel approach to achieve controllable generation of specific viewpoints using LLMs, that can be leveraged to produce multiple perspectives and to reflect the diverse opinions. Moving beyond the traditional reliance on demographics like age, gender, or party affiliation, we introduce a data-driven notion of persona grounded in collaborative filtering, which is defined as either a single individual or a cohort of individuals manifesting similar views across specific inquiries. As individuals in the same demographic group may have different personas, our data-driven persona definition allows for a more nuanced understanding of different (latent) social groups present in the population. In addition to this, we also explore an efficient method to steer LLMs toward the personas that we define. We show that our data-driven personas significantly enhance model steerability, with improvements of between 57%-77% over our best performing baselines.

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BELIEVE: Belief-Enhanced Instruction Generation and Augmentation for Zero-Shot Bias Mitigation
Lisa Bauer | Ninareh Mehrabi | Palash Goyal | Kai-Wei Chang | Aram Galstyan | Rahul Gupta
Proceedings of the 4th Workshop on Trustworthy Natural Language Processing (TrustNLP 2024)

Language models, pre-trained on large amounts of unmoderated content, have been shown to contain societal biases. Mitigating such biases typically requires access to model parameters and training schemas. In this work, we address bias mitigation at inference time, such that it can be applied to any black-box model. To this end, we propose a belief generation and augmentation framework, BELIEVE, that demonstrates effective bias mitigation for natural language generation by augmenting input prompts with automatically generated instruction-based beliefs. Our framework eases the bottleneck required for manually crafting these instruction-based beliefs, by extending a recently proposed iterative in-context learning framework to automatically generate beliefs via a language model. We assess the impact of this system on fairness, and demonstrate effective bias mitigation on pretrained and instruction-tuned models for both sentiment and regard with respect to multiple protected classes including race, gender, and political ideology.

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MICo: Preventative Detoxification of Large Language Models through Inhibition Control
Roy Siegelmann | Ninareh Mehrabi | Palash Goyal | Prasoon Goyal | Lisa Bauer | Jwala Dhamala | Aram Galstyan | Rahul Gupta | Reza Ghanadan
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: NAACL 2024

Large Language Models (LLMs) are powerful tools which have been both dominant and commonplace in the field of Artificial Intelligence. Yet, LLMs have a tendency to devolve into toxic degeneration, wherein otherwise safe and unproblematic models begin generating toxic content. For the sake of social responsibility and inspired by the biological mechanisms of inhibition control, we introduce the paradigm of Education for Societal Norms (ESN). By collecting and labeling examples as acceptable and unacceptable (in this case toxic and non-toxic), and including a corresponding acceptable rewrite with every unacceptable example, we introduce a new mechanism for LLM detoxification. We annotate a dataset of 2,850 entries and use it to fine-tune a model, which we call a Model with Inhibition Control (MICo). Evaluating this model on toxicity detection capability, rewrite detoxification, meaning preservation, and overall toxicity reduction, we discover significant improvements over the baseline model. In our experiments we show that overall toxicity of this model is more than 60% reduced, with over 75% reduction in severe toxicity.

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Tokenization Matters: Navigating Data-Scarce Tokenization for Gender Inclusive Language Technologies
Anaelia Ovalle | Ninareh Mehrabi | Palash Goyal | Jwala Dhamala | Kai-Wei Chang | Richard Zemel | Aram Galstyan | Yuval Pinter | Rahul Gupta
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: NAACL 2024

Gender-inclusive NLP research has documented the harmful limitations of gender binary-centric large language models (LLM), such as the inability to correctly use gender-diverse English neopronouns (e.g., xe, zir, fae). While data scarcity is a known culprit, the precise mechanisms through which scarcity affects this behavior remain underexplored. We discover LLM misgendering is significantly influenced by Byte-Pair Encoding (BPE) tokenization, the tokenizer powering many popular LLMs. Unlike binary pronouns, BPE overfragments neopronouns, a direct consequence of data scarcity during tokenizer training. This disparate tokenization mirrors tokenizer limitations observed in multilingual and low-resource NLP, unlocking new misgendering mitigation strategies. We propose two techniques: (1) pronoun tokenization parity, a method to enforce consistent tokenization across gendered pronouns, and (2) utilizing pre-existing LLM pronoun knowledge to improve neopronoun proficiency. Our proposed methods outperform finetuning with standard BPE, improving neopronoun accuracy from 14.1% to 58.4%. Our paper is the first to link LLM misgendering to tokenization and deficient neopronoun grammar, indicating that LLMs unable to correctly treat neopronouns as pronouns are more prone to misgender.


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Faithful Model Evaluation for Model-Based Metrics
Qian Hu | Palash Goyal | Rahul Gupta
Proceedings of the 2023 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Statistical significance testing is used in natural language processing (NLP) to determine whether the results of a study or experiment are likely to be due to chance or if they reflect a genuine relationship. A key step in significance testing is the estimation of confidence interval which is a function of sample variance. Sample variance calculation is straightforward when evaluating against ground truth. However, in many cases, a metric model is often used for evaluation. For example, to compare toxicity of two large language models, a toxicity classifier is used for evaluation. Existing works usually do not consider the variance change due to metric model errors, which can lead to wrong conclusions. In this work, we establish the mathematical foundation of significance testing for model-based metrics. With experiments on public benchmark datasets and a production system, we show that considering metric model errors to calculate sample variances for model-based metrics changes the conclusions in certain experiments.

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Resolving Ambiguities in Text-to-Image Generative Models
Ninareh Mehrabi | Palash Goyal | Apurv Verma | Jwala Dhamala | Varun Kumar | Qian Hu | Kai-Wei Chang | Richard Zemel | Aram Galstyan | Rahul Gupta
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Natural language often contains ambiguities that can lead to misinterpretation and miscommunication. While humans can handle ambiguities effectively by asking clarifying questions and/or relying on contextual cues and common-sense knowledge, resolving ambiguities can be notoriously hard for machines. In this work, we study ambiguities that arise in text-to-image generative models. We curate the Text-to-image Ambiguity Benchmark (TAB) dataset to study different types of ambiguities in text-to-image generative models. We then propose the Text-to-ImagE Disambiguation (TIED) framework to disambiguate the prompts given to the text-to-image generative models by soliciting clarifications from the end user. Through automatic and human evaluations, we show the effectiveness of our framework in generating more faithful images aligned with end user intention in the presence of ambiguities.