Adam Kalai


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What’s in a Name? Reducing Bias in Bios without Access to Protected Attributes
Alexey Romanov | Maria De-Arteaga | Hanna Wallach | Jennifer Chayes | Christian Borgs | Alexandra Chouldechova | Sahin Geyik | Krishnaram Kenthapadi | Anna Rumshisky | Adam Kalai
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies, Volume 1 (Long and Short Papers)

There is a growing body of work that proposes methods for mitigating bias in machine learning systems. These methods typically rely on access to protected attributes such as race, gender, or age. However, this raises two significant challenges: (1) protected attributes may not be available or it may not be legal to use them, and (2) it is often desirable to simultaneously consider multiple protected attributes, as well as their intersections. In the context of mitigating bias in occupation classification, we propose a method for discouraging correlation between the predicted probability of an individual’s true occupation and a word embedding of their name. This method leverages the societal biases that are encoded in word embeddings, eliminating the need for access to protected attributes. Crucially, it only requires access to individuals’ names at training time and not at deployment time. We evaluate two variations of our proposed method using a large-scale dataset of online biographies. We find that both variations simultaneously reduce race and gender biases, with almost no reduction in the classifier’s overall true positive rate.


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Counterfactual Language Model Adaptation for Suggesting Phrases
Kenneth Arnold | Kai-Wei Chang | Adam Kalai
Proceedings of the Eighth International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (Volume 2: Short Papers)

Mobile devices use language models to suggest words and phrases for use in text entry. Traditional language models are based on contextual word frequency in a static corpus of text. However, certain types of phrases, when offered to writers as suggestions, may be systematically chosen more often than their frequency would predict. In this paper, we propose the task of generating suggestions that writers accept, a related but distinct task to making accurate predictions. Although this task is fundamentally interactive, we propose a counterfactual setting that permits offline training and evaluation. We find that even a simple language model can capture text characteristics that improve acceptability.

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Beyond Bilingual: Multi-sense Word Embeddings using Multilingual Context
Shyam Upadhyay | Kai-Wei Chang | Matt Taddy | Adam Kalai | James Zou
Proceedings of the 2nd Workshop on Representation Learning for NLP

Word embeddings, which represent a word as a point in a vector space, have become ubiquitous to several NLP tasks. A recent line of work uses bilingual (two languages) corpora to learn a different vector for each sense of a word, by exploiting crosslingual signals to aid sense identification. We present a multi-view Bayesian non-parametric algorithm which improves multi-sense wor d embeddings by (a) using multilingual (i.e., more than two languages) corpora to significantly improve sense embeddings beyond what one achieves with bilingual information, and (b) uses a principled approach to learn a variable number of senses per word, in a data-driven manner. Ours is the first approach with the ability to leverage multilingual corpora efficiently for multi-sense representation learning. Experiments show that multilingual training significantly improves performance over monolingual and bilingual training, by allowing us to combine different parallel corpora to leverage multilingual context. Multilingual training yields comparable performance to a state of the art monolingual model trained on five times more training data.