Gender-preserving Debiasing for Pre-trained Word Embeddings

ACL 2019

Gender-preserving Debiasing for Pre-trained Word Embeddings

Jan 30, 2021
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Abstract: Word embeddings learnt from massive text collections have demonstrated significant levels of discriminative biases such as gender, racial or ethnic biases, which in turn bias the down-stream NLP applications that use those word embeddings. Taking gender-bias as a working example, we propose a debiasing method that preserves non-discriminative gender-related information, while removing stereotypical discriminative gender biases from pre-trained word embeddings. Specifically, we consider four types of information: feminine, masculine, gender-neutral and stereotypical, which represent the relationship between gender vs. bias, and propose a debiasing method that (a) preserves the gender-related information in feminine and masculine words, (b) preserves the neutrality in gender-neutral words, and (c) removes the biases from stereotypical words. Experimental results on several previously proposed benchmark datasets show that our proposed method can debias pre-trained word embeddings better than existing SoTA methods proposed for debiasing word embeddings while preserving gender-related but non-discriminative information. Authors: Masahiro Kaneko, Danushka Bollegala (Tokyo Metropolitan University, University of Liverpool)

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