Po-Sen Huang


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Challenges in Detoxifying Language Models
Johannes Welbl | Amelia Glaese | Jonathan Uesato | Sumanth Dathathri | John Mellor | Lisa Anne Hendricks | Kirsty Anderson | Pushmeet Kohli | Ben Coppin | Po-Sen Huang
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2021

Large language models (LM) generate remarkably fluent text and can be efficiently adapted across NLP tasks. Measuring and guaranteeing the quality of generated text in terms of safety is imperative for deploying LMs in the real world; to this end, prior work often relies on automatic evaluation of LM toxicity. We critically discuss this approach, evaluate several toxicity mitigation strategies with respect to both automatic and human evaluation, and analyze consequences of toxicity mitigation in terms of model bias and LM quality. We demonstrate that while basic intervention strategies can effectively optimize previously established automatic metrics on the REALTOXICITYPROMPTS dataset, this comes at the cost of reduced LM coverage for both texts about, and dialects of, marginalized groups. Additionally, we find that human raters often disagree with high automatic toxicity scores after strong toxicity reduction interventions—highlighting further the nuances involved in careful evaluation of LM toxicity.


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Reducing Sentiment Bias in Language Models via Counterfactual Evaluation
Po-Sen Huang | Huan Zhang | Ray Jiang | Robert Stanforth | Johannes Welbl | Jack Rae | Vishal Maini | Dani Yogatama | Pushmeet Kohli
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2020

Advances in language modeling architectures and the availability of large text corpora have driven progress in automatic text generation. While this results in models capable of generating coherent texts, it also prompts models to internalize social biases present in the training corpus. This paper aims to quantify and reduce a particular type of bias exhibited by language models: bias in the sentiment of generated text. Given a conditioning context (e.g., a writing prompt) and a language model, we analyze if (and how) the sentiment of the generated text is affected by changes in values of sensitive attributes (e.g., country names, occupations, genders) in the conditioning context using a form of counterfactual evaluation. We quantify sentiment bias by adopting individual and group fairness metrics from the fair machine learning literature, and demonstrate that large-scale models trained on two different corpora (news articles, and Wikipedia) exhibit considerable levels of bias. We then propose embedding and sentiment prediction-derived regularization on the language model’s latent representations. The regularizations improve fairness metrics while retaining comparable levels of perplexity and semantic similarity.

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The DeepMind Chinese–English Document Translation System at WMT2020
Lei Yu | Laurent Sartran | Po-Sen Huang | Wojciech Stokowiec | Domenic Donato | Srivatsan Srinivasan | Alek Andreev | Wang Ling | Sona Mokra | Agustin Dal Lago | Yotam Doron | Susannah Young | Phil Blunsom | Chris Dyer
Proceedings of the Fifth Conference on Machine Translation

This paper describes the DeepMind submission to the ChineseEnglish constrained data track of the WMT2020 Shared Task on News Translation. The submission employs a noisy channel factorization as the backbone of a document translation system. This approach allows the flexible combination of a number of independent component models which are further augmented with back-translation, distillation, fine-tuning with in-domain data, Monte-Carlo Tree Search decoding, and improved uncertainty estimation. In order to address persistent issues with the premature truncation of long sequences we included specialized length models and sentence segmentation techniques. Our final system provides a 9.9 BLEU points improvement over a baseline Transformer on our test set (newstest 2019).


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Achieving Verified Robustness to Symbol Substitutions via Interval Bound Propagation
Po-Sen Huang | Robert Stanforth | Johannes Welbl | Chris Dyer | Dani Yogatama | Sven Gowal | Krishnamurthy Dvijotham | Pushmeet Kohli
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and the 9th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (EMNLP-IJCNLP)

Neural networks are part of many contemporary NLP systems, yet their empirical successes come at the price of vulnerability to adversarial attacks. Previous work has used adversarial training and data augmentation to partially mitigate such brittleness, but these are unlikely to find worst-case adversaries due to the complexity of the search space arising from discrete text perturbations. In this work, we approach the problem from the opposite direction: to formally verify a system’s robustness against a predefined class of adversarial attacks. We study text classification under synonym replacements or character flip perturbations. We propose modeling these input perturbations as a simplex and then using Interval Bound Propagation – a formal model verification method. We modify the conventional log-likelihood training objective to train models that can be efficiently verified, which would otherwise come with exponential search complexity. The resulting models show only little difference in terms of nominal accuracy, but have much improved verified accuracy under perturbations and come with an efficiently computable formal guarantee on worst case adversaries.


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Discourse-Aware Neural Rewards for Coherent Text Generation
Antoine Bosselut | Asli Celikyilmaz | Xiaodong He | Jianfeng Gao | Po-Sen Huang | Yejin Choi
Proceedings of the 2018 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies, Volume 1 (Long Papers)

In this paper, we investigate the use of discourse-aware rewards with reinforcement learning to guide a model to generate long, coherent text. In particular, we propose to learn neural rewards to model cross-sentence ordering as a means to approximate desired discourse structure. Empirical results demonstrate that a generator trained with the learned reward produces more coherent and less repetitive text than models trained with cross-entropy or with reinforcement learning with commonly used scores as rewards.

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Natural Language to Structured Query Generation via Meta-Learning
Po-Sen Huang | Chenglong Wang | Rishabh Singh | Wen-tau Yih | Xiaodong He
Proceedings of the 2018 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies, Volume 2 (Short Papers)

In conventional supervised training, a model is trained to fit all the training examples. However, having a monolithic model may not always be the best strategy, as examples could vary widely. In this work, we explore a different learning protocol that treats each example as a unique pseudo-task, by reducing the original learning problem to a few-shot meta-learning scenario with the help of a domain-dependent relevance function. When evaluated on the WikiSQL dataset, our approach leads to faster convergence and achieves 1.1%–5.4% absolute accuracy gains over the non-meta-learning counterparts.


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Two-Stage Synthesis Networks for Transfer Learning in Machine Comprehension
David Golub | Po-Sen Huang | Xiaodong He | Li Deng
Proceedings of the 2017 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

We develop a technique for transfer learning in machine comprehension (MC) using a novel two-stage synthesis network. Given a high performing MC model in one domain, our technique aims to answer questions about documents in another domain, where we use no labeled data of question-answer pairs. Using the proposed synthesis network with a pretrained model on the SQuAD dataset, we achieve an F1 measure of 46.6% on the challenging NewsQA dataset, approaching performance of in-domain models (F1 measure of 50.0%) and outperforming the out-of-domain baseline by 7.6%, without use of provided annotations.

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Modeling Large-Scale Structured Relationships with Shared Memory for Knowledge Base Completion
Yelong Shen | Po-Sen Huang | Ming-Wei Chang | Jianfeng Gao
Proceedings of the 2nd Workshop on Representation Learning for NLP

Recent studies on knowledge base completion, the task of recovering missing relationships based on recorded relations, demonstrate the importance of learning embeddings from multi-step relations. However, due to the size of knowledge bases, learning multi-step relations directly on top of observed triplets could be costly. Hence, a manually designed procedure is often used when training the models. In this paper, we propose Implicit ReasoNets (IRNs), which is designed to perform multi-step inference implicitly through a controller and shared memory. Without a human-designed inference procedure, IRNs use training data to learn to perform multi-step inference in an embedding neural space through the shared memory and controller. While the inference procedure does not explicitly operate on top of observed triplets, our proposed model outperforms all previous approaches on the popular FB15k benchmark by more than 5.7%.