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  1. Word vector embeddings have been shown to contain and amplify biases in the data they are extracted from. Consequently, many techniques have been proposed to identify, mitigate, and attenuate these biases in word representations. In this paper, we utilize interactive visualization to increase the interpretability and accessibility of a collection of state-of-the-art debiasing techniques. To aid this, we present the Visualization of Embedding Representations for deBiasing (“VERB”) system, an open-source web-based visualization tool that helps users gain a technical understanding and visual intuition of the inner workings of debiasing techniques, with a focus on their geometric properties. In particular, VERB offers easy-to-follow examples that explore the effects of these debiasing techniques on the geometry of high-dimensional word vectors. To help understand how various debiasing techniques change the underlying geometry, VERB decomposes each technique into interpretable sequences of primitive transformations and highlights their effect on the word vectors using dimensionality reduction and interactive visual exploration. VERB is designed to target natural language processing (NLP) practitioners who are designing decision-making systems on top of word embeddings, and also researchers working with the fairness and ethics of machine learning systems in NLP. It can also serve as a visual medium for education, which helps an NLP novice understand and mitigate biases in word embeddings. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 1, 2025
  2. Word vector embeddings have been shown to contain and amplify biases in the data they are extracted from. Consequently, many techniques have been proposed to identify, mitigate, and attenuate these biases in word representations. In this paper, we utilize interactive visualization to increase the interpretability and accessibility of a collection of state-of-the-art debiasing techniques. To aid this, we present the Visualization of Embedding Representations for deBiasing (“VERB”) system, an open-source web-based visualization tool that helps users gain a technical understanding and visual intuition of the inner workings of debiasing techniques, with a focus on their geometric properties. In particular, VERB offers easy-to-follow examples that explore the effects of these debiasing techniques on the geometry of high-dimensional word vectors. To help understand how various debiasing techniques change the underlying geometry, VERB decomposes each technique into interpretable sequences of primitive transformations and highlights their effect on the word vectors using dimensionality reduction and interactive visual exploration. VERB is designed to target natural language processing (NLP) practitioners who are designing decision-making systems on top of word embeddings, and also researchers working with the fairness and ethics of machine learning systems in NLP. It can also serve as a visual medium for education, which helps an NLP novice understand and mitigate biases in word embeddings. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 22, 2024
  3. Gender bias in language technologies has been widely studied, but research has mostly been restricted to a binary paradigm of gender. It is essential also to consider non-binary gender identities, as excluding them can cause further harm to an already marginalized group. In this paper, we comprehensively evaluate popular language models for their ability to correctly use English gender-neutral pronouns (e.g., singular they, them) and neo-pronouns (e.g., ze, xe, thon) that are used by individuals whose gender identity is not represented by binary pronouns. We introduce Misgendered, a framework for evaluating large language models’ ability to correctly use preferred pronouns, consisting of (i) instances declaring an individual’s pronoun, followed by a sentence with a missing pronoun, and (ii) an experimental setup for evaluating masked and auto-regressive language models using a unified method. When prompted out-of-the-box, language models perform poorly at correctly predicting neo-pronouns (averaging 7.6% accuracy) and gender-neutral pronouns (averaging 31.0% accuracy). This inability to generalize results from a lack of representation of non-binary pronouns in training data and memorized associations. Few-shot adaptation with explicit examples in the prompt improves the performance but plateaus at only 45.4% for neo-pronouns. We release the full dataset, code, and demo at https://tamannahossainkay.github.io/misgendered/. 
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  4. Language representations are an efficient tool used across NLP, but they are strife with encoded societal biases. These biases are studied extensively, but with a primary focus on English language representations and biases common in the context of Western society. In this work, we investigate the biases present in Hindi language representations such as caste and religion associated biases. We demonstrate how biases are unique to specific language representations based on the history and culture of the region they are widely spoken in, and also how the same societal bias (such as binary gender associated biases) when investigated across languages is encoded by different words and text spans. With this work, we emphasize on the necessity of social-awareness along with linguistic and grammatical artefacts when modeling language representations, in order to understand the biases encoded. 
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