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Ben Hutchinson

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Cultural Incongruencies in Artificial Intelligence

Nov 19, 2022
Vinodkumar Prabhakaran, Rida Qadri, Ben Hutchinson

Artificial intelligence (AI) systems attempt to imitate human behavior. How well they do this imitation is often used to assess their utility and to attribute human-like (or artificial) intelligence to them. However, most work on AI refers to and relies on human intelligence without accounting for the fact that human behavior is inherently shaped by the cultural contexts they are embedded in, the values and beliefs they hold, and the social practices they follow. Additionally, since AI technologies are mostly conceived and developed in just a handful of countries, they embed the cultural values and practices of these countries. Similarly, the data that is used to train the models also fails to equitably represent global cultural diversity. Problems therefore arise when these technologies interact with globally diverse societies and cultures, with different values and interpretive practices. In this position paper, we describe a set of cultural dependencies and incongruencies in the context of AI-based language and vision technologies, and reflect on the possibilities of and potential strategies towards addressing these incongruencies.

* 3 page position paper, presented at the NeurIPS 2022 Workshop on Cultures in AI/AI in Culture 
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Underspecification in Scene Description-to-Depiction Tasks

Oct 11, 2022
Ben Hutchinson, Jason Baldridge, Vinodkumar Prabhakaran

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Questions regarding implicitness, ambiguity and underspecification are crucial for understanding the task validity and ethical concerns of multimodal image+text systems, yet have received little attention to date. This position paper maps out a conceptual framework to address this gap, focusing on systems which generate images depicting scenes from scene descriptions. In doing so, we account for how texts and images convey meaning differently. We outline a set of core challenges concerning textual and visual ambiguity, as well as risks that may be amplified by ambiguous and underspecified elements. We propose and discuss strategies for addressing these challenges, including generating visually ambiguous images, and generating a set of diverse images.

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Scaling Autoregressive Models for Content-Rich Text-to-Image Generation

Jun 22, 2022
Jiahui Yu, Yuanzhong Xu, Jing Yu Koh, Thang Luong, Gunjan Baid, Zirui Wang, Vijay Vasudevan, Alexander Ku, Yinfei Yang, Burcu Karagol Ayan, Ben Hutchinson, Wei Han, Zarana Parekh, Xin Li, Han Zhang, Jason Baldridge, Yonghui Wu

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We present the Pathways Autoregressive Text-to-Image (Parti) model, which generates high-fidelity photorealistic images and supports content-rich synthesis involving complex compositions and world knowledge. Parti treats text-to-image generation as a sequence-to-sequence modeling problem, akin to machine translation, with sequences of image tokens as the target outputs rather than text tokens in another language. This strategy can naturally tap into the rich body of prior work on large language models, which have seen continued advances in capabilities and performance through scaling data and model sizes. Our approach is simple: First, Parti uses a Transformer-based image tokenizer, ViT-VQGAN, to encode images as sequences of discrete tokens. Second, we achieve consistent quality improvements by scaling the encoder-decoder Transformer model up to 20B parameters, with a new state-of-the-art zero-shot FID score of 7.23 and finetuned FID score of 3.22 on MS-COCO. Our detailed analysis on Localized Narratives as well as PartiPrompts (P2), a new holistic benchmark of over 1600 English prompts, demonstrate the effectiveness of Parti across a wide variety of categories and difficulty aspects. We also explore and highlight limitations of our models in order to define and exemplify key areas of focus for further improvements. See for high-resolution images.

* Preprint 
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Evaluation Gaps in Machine Learning Practice

May 11, 2022
Ben Hutchinson, Negar Rostamzadeh, Christina Greer, Katherine Heller, Vinodkumar Prabhakaran

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Forming a reliable judgement of a machine learning (ML) model's appropriateness for an application ecosystem is critical for its responsible use, and requires considering a broad range of factors including harms, benefits, and responsibilities. In practice, however, evaluations of ML models frequently focus on only a narrow range of decontextualized predictive behaviours. We examine the evaluation gaps between the idealized breadth of evaluation concerns and the observed narrow focus of actual evaluations. Through an empirical study of papers from recent high-profile conferences in the Computer Vision and Natural Language Processing communities, we demonstrate a general focus on a handful of evaluation methods. By considering the metrics and test data distributions used in these methods, we draw attention to which properties of models are centered in the field, revealing the properties that are frequently neglected or sidelined during evaluation. By studying these properties, we demonstrate the machine learning discipline's implicit assumption of a range of commitments which have normative impacts; these include commitments to consequentialism, abstractability from context, the quantifiability of impacts, the limited role of model inputs in evaluation, and the equivalence of different failure modes. Shedding light on these assumptions enables us to question their appropriateness for ML system contexts, pointing the way towards more contextualized evaluation methodologies for robustly examining the trustworthiness of ML models

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PaLM: Scaling Language Modeling with Pathways

Apr 19, 2022
Aakanksha Chowdhery, Sharan Narang, Jacob Devlin, Maarten Bosma, Gaurav Mishra, Adam Roberts, Paul Barham, Hyung Won Chung, Charles Sutton, Sebastian Gehrmann, Parker Schuh, Kensen Shi, Sasha Tsvyashchenko, Joshua Maynez, Abhishek Rao, Parker Barnes, Yi Tay, Noam Shazeer, Vinodkumar Prabhakaran, Emily Reif, Nan Du, Ben Hutchinson, Reiner Pope, James Bradbury, Jacob Austin, Michael Isard, Guy Gur-Ari, Pengcheng Yin, Toju Duke, Anselm Levskaya, Sanjay Ghemawat, Sunipa Dev, Henryk Michalewski, Xavier Garcia, Vedant Misra, Kevin Robinson, Liam Fedus, Denny Zhou, Daphne Ippolito, David Luan, Hyeontaek Lim, Barret Zoph, Alexander Spiridonov, Ryan Sepassi, David Dohan, Shivani Agrawal, Mark Omernick, Andrew M. Dai, Thanumalayan Sankaranarayana Pillai, Marie Pellat, Aitor Lewkowycz, Erica Moreira, Rewon Child, Oleksandr Polozov, Katherine Lee, Zongwei Zhou, Xuezhi Wang, Brennan Saeta, Mark Diaz, Orhan Firat, Michele Catasta, Jason Wei, Kathy Meier-Hellstern, Douglas Eck, Jeff Dean, Slav Petrov, Noah Fiedel

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Large language models have been shown to achieve remarkable performance across a variety of natural language tasks using few-shot learning, which drastically reduces the number of task-specific training examples needed to adapt the model to a particular application. To further our understanding of the impact of scale on few-shot learning, we trained a 540-billion parameter, densely activated, Transformer language model, which we call Pathways Language Model PaLM. We trained PaLM on 6144 TPU v4 chips using Pathways, a new ML system which enables highly efficient training across multiple TPU Pods. We demonstrate continued benefits of scaling by achieving state-of-the-art few-shot learning results on hundreds of language understanding and generation benchmarks. On a number of these tasks, PaLM 540B achieves breakthrough performance, outperforming the finetuned state-of-the-art on a suite of multi-step reasoning tasks, and outperforming average human performance on the recently released BIG-bench benchmark. A significant number of BIG-bench tasks showed discontinuous improvements from model scale, meaning that performance steeply increased as we scaled to our largest model. PaLM also has strong capabilities in multilingual tasks and source code generation, which we demonstrate on a wide array of benchmarks. We additionally provide a comprehensive analysis on bias and toxicity, and study the extent of training data memorization with respect to model scale. Finally, we discuss the ethical considerations related to large language models and discuss potential mitigation strategies.

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LaMDA: Language Models for Dialog Applications

Feb 10, 2022
Romal Thoppilan, Daniel De Freitas, Jamie Hall, Noam Shazeer, Apoorv Kulshreshtha, Heng-Tze Cheng, Alicia Jin, Taylor Bos, Leslie Baker, Yu Du, YaGuang Li, Hongrae Lee, Huaixiu Steven Zheng, Amin Ghafouri, Marcelo Menegali, Yanping Huang, Maxim Krikun, Dmitry Lepikhin, James Qin, Dehao Chen, Yuanzhong Xu, Zhifeng Chen, Adam Roberts, Maarten Bosma, Vincent Zhao, Yanqi Zhou, Chung-Ching Chang, Igor Krivokon, Will Rusch, Marc Pickett, Pranesh Srinivasan, Laichee Man, Kathleen Meier-Hellstern, Meredith Ringel Morris, Tulsee Doshi, Renelito Delos Santos, Toju Duke, Johnny Soraker, Ben Zevenbergen, Vinodkumar Prabhakaran, Mark Diaz, Ben Hutchinson, Kristen Olson, Alejandra Molina, Erin Hoffman-John, Josh Lee, Lora Aroyo, Ravi Rajakumar, Alena Butryna, Matthew Lamm, Viktoriya Kuzmina, Joe Fenton, Aaron Cohen, Rachel Bernstein, Ray Kurzweil, Blaise Aguera-Arcas, Claire Cui, Marian Croak, Ed Chi, Quoc Le

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We present LaMDA: Language Models for Dialog Applications. LaMDA is a family of Transformer-based neural language models specialized for dialog, which have up to 137B parameters and are pre-trained on 1.56T words of public dialog data and web text. While model scaling alone can improve quality, it shows less improvements on safety and factual grounding. We demonstrate that fine-tuning with annotated data and enabling the model to consult external knowledge sources can lead to significant improvements towards the two key challenges of safety and factual grounding. The first challenge, safety, involves ensuring that the model's responses are consistent with a set of human values, such as preventing harmful suggestions and unfair bias. We quantify safety using a metric based on an illustrative set of human values, and we find that filtering candidate responses using a LaMDA classifier fine-tuned with a small amount of crowdworker-annotated data offers a promising approach to improving model safety. The second challenge, factual grounding, involves enabling the model to consult external knowledge sources, such as an information retrieval system, a language translator, and a calculator. We quantify factuality using a groundedness metric, and we find that our approach enables the model to generate responses grounded in known sources, rather than responses that merely sound plausible. Finally, we explore the use of LaMDA in the domains of education and content recommendations, and analyze their helpfulness and role consistency.

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Thinking Beyond Distributions in Testing Machine Learned Models

Dec 06, 2021
Negar Rostamzadeh, Ben Hutchinson, Christina Greer, Vinodkumar Prabhakaran

Testing practices within the machine learning (ML) community have centered around assessing a learned model's predictive performance measured against a test dataset, often drawn from the same distribution as the training dataset. While recent work on robustness and fairness testing within the ML community has pointed to the importance of testing against distributional shifts, these efforts also focus on estimating the likelihood of the model making an error against a reference dataset/distribution. We argue that this view of testing actively discourages researchers and developers from looking into other sources of robustness failures, for instance corner cases which may have severe undesirable impacts. We draw parallels with decades of work within software engineering testing focused on assessing a software system against various stress conditions, including corner cases, as opposed to solely focusing on average-case behaviour. Finally, we put forth a set of recommendations to broaden the view of machine learning testing to a rigorous practice.

* NeurIPS 2021 workshop on Distribution Shifts  
* Neural Information Processing System, NeurIPS 2021 workshop on Distribution Shifts 
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Re-imagining Algorithmic Fairness in India and Beyond

Jan 27, 2021
Nithya Sambasivan, Erin Arnesen, Ben Hutchinson, Tulsee Doshi, Vinodkumar Prabhakaran

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Conventional algorithmic fairness is West-centric, as seen in its sub-groups, values, and methods. In this paper, we de-center algorithmic fairness and analyse AI power in India. Based on 36 qualitative interviews and a discourse analysis of algorithmic deployments in India, we find that several assumptions of algorithmic fairness are challenged. We find that in India, data is not always reliable due to socio-economic factors, ML makers appear to follow double standards, and AI evokes unquestioning aspiration. We contend that localising model fairness alone can be window dressing in India, where the distance between models and oppressed communities is large. Instead, we re-imagine algorithmic fairness in India and provide a roadmap to re-contextualise data and models, empower oppressed communities, and enable Fair-ML ecosystems.

* Proceedings of the 2021 conference on Fairness, Accountability, and Transparency  
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