Agonism plays a vital role in democratic dialogue by fostering diverse perspectives and robust discussions. Within the realm of online conflict there is another type: hateful antagonism, which undermines constructive dialogue. Detecting conflict online is central to platform moderation and monetization. It is also vital for democratic dialogue, but only when it takes the form of agonism. To model these two types of conflict, we collected Twitter conversations related to trending controversial topics. We introduce a comprehensive annotation schema for labelling different dimensions of conflict in the conversations, such as the source of conflict, the target, and the rhetorical strategies deployed. Using this schema, we annotated approximately 4,000 conversations with multiple labels. We then trained both logistic regression and transformer-based models on the dataset, incorporating context from the conversation, including the number of participants and the structure of the interactions. Results show that contextual labels are helpful in identifying conflict and make the models robust to variations in topic. Our research contributes a conceptualization of different dimensions of conflict, a richly annotated dataset, and promising results that can contribute to content moderation.
* "Findings of the 2023 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural
Language Processing (EMNLP)". Singapore. December 6-10, 2023 * To appear
Technology companies have produced varied responses to concerns about the effects of the design of their conversational AI systems. Some have claimed that their voice assistants are in fact not gendered or human-like -- despite design features suggesting the contrary. We compare these claims to user perceptions by analysing the pronouns they use when referring to AI assistants. We also examine systems' responses and the extent to which they generate output which is gendered and anthropomorphic. We find that, while some companies appear to be addressing the ethical concerns raised, in some cases, their claims do not seem to hold true. In particular, our results show that system outputs are ambiguous as to the humanness of the systems, and that users tend to personify and gender them as a result.
* To be presented at the 3rd Workshop on Gender Bias in Natural
Language Processing (GeBNLP 2021)
Natural Language Processing (NLP) systems learn harmful societal biases that cause them to widely proliferate inequality as they are deployed in more and more situations. To address and combat this, the NLP community relies on a variety of metrics to identify and quantify bias in black-box models and to guide efforts at debiasing. Some of these metrics are intrinsic, and are measured in word embedding spaces, and some are extrinsic, which measure the bias present downstream in the tasks that the word embeddings are plugged into. This research examines whether easy-to-measure intrinsic metrics correlate well to real world extrinsic metrics. We measure both intrinsic and extrinsic bias across hundreds of trained models covering different tasks and experimental conditions and find that there is no reliable correlation between these metrics that holds in all scenarios across tasks and languages. We advise that efforts to debias embedding spaces be always also paired with measurement of downstream model bias, and suggest that that community increase effort into making downstream measurement more feasible via creation of additional challenge sets and annotated test data. We additionally release code, a new intrinsic metric, and an annotated test set for gender bias for hatespeech.