Journalists must find stories in huge amounts of textual data (e.g. leaks, bills, press releases) as part of their jobs: determining when and why text becomes news can help us understand coverage patterns and help us build assistive tools. Yet, this is challenging because very few labelled links exist, language use between corpora is very different, and text may be covered for a variety of reasons. In this work we focus on news coverage of local public policy in the San Francisco Bay Area by the San Francisco Chronicle. First, we gather news articles, public policy documents and meeting recordings and link them using probabilistic relational modeling, which we show is a low-annotation linking methodology that outperforms other retrieval-based baselines. Second, we define a new task: newsworthiness prediction, to predict if a policy item will get covered. We show that different aspects of public policy discussion yield different newsworthiness signals. Finally we perform human evaluation with expert journalists and show our systems identify policies they consider newsworthy with 68% F1 and our coverage recommendations are helpful with an 84% win-rate.
We explore the creative problem-solving capabilities of modern large language models (LLMs) in a constrained setting. The setting requires circumventing a cognitive bias known in psychology as ''functional fixedness'' to use familiar objects in innovative or unconventional ways. To this end, we create MacGyver, an automatically generated dataset consisting of 1,600 real-world problems that deliberately trigger functional fixedness and require thinking 'out-of-the-box'. We then present our collection of problems to both LLMs and humans to compare and contrast their problem-solving abilities. We show that MacGyver is challenging for both groups, but in unique and complementary ways. For example, humans typically excel in solving problems that they are familiar with but may struggle with tasks requiring domain-specific knowledge, leading to a higher variance. On the other hand, LLMs, being exposed to a variety of highly specialized knowledge, attempt broader problems but are prone to overconfidence and propose actions that are physically infeasible or inefficient. We also provide a detailed error analysis of LLMs, and demonstrate the potential of enhancing their problem-solving ability with novel prompting techniques such as iterative step-wise reflection and divergent-convergent thinking. This work provides insight into the creative problem-solving capabilities of humans and AI and illustrates how psychological paradigms can be extended into large-scale tasks for comparing humans and machines.
Event extraction has attracted much attention in recent years due to its potential for many applications. However, recent studies observe some evaluation challenges, suggesting that reported scores might not reflect the true performance. In this work, we first identify and discuss these evaluation challenges, including the unfair comparisons resulting from different assumptions about data or different data preprocessing steps, the incompleteness of the current evaluation framework leading to potential dataset bias or data split bias, and low reproducibility of prior studies. To address these challenges, we propose TextEE, a standardized, fair, and reproducible benchmark for event extraction. TextEE contains standardized data preprocessing scripts and splits for more than ten datasets across different domains. In addition, we aggregate and re-implement over ten event extraction approaches published in recent years and conduct a comprehensive reevaluation. Finally, we explore the capability of large language models in event extraction and discuss some future challenges. We expect TextEE will serve as a reliable benchmark for event extraction, facilitating future research in the field.
Ensuring factual consistency is crucial in various natural language processing tasks, particularly in abstractive summarization, where preserving the integrity of information is paramount. Prior entailment-based approaches often generate factually inconsistent summaries and then train a classifier on the generated data. However, summaries produced by these approaches are either of low coherence or lack error-type coverage. To address these issues, we propose AMRFact, a novel framework that generates factually inconsistent summaries using Abstract Meaning Representation (AMR). Our approach parses factually correct summaries into AMR graphs and injects controlled factual inconsistencies to create negative examples, allowing for coherent factually inconsistent summaries to be generated with high error-type coverage. Additionally, we present a data selection module NegFilter based on natural language inference and BARTScore to ensure the quality of the generated negative samples. Experimental results demonstrate that our approach significantly outperforms previous systems on the AggreFact-SOTA dataset, showcasing its efficacy in assessing factuality in abstractive summarization.
Multimodal counterfactual reasoning is a vital yet challenging ability for AI systems. It involves predicting the outcomes of hypothetical circumstances based on vision and language inputs, which enables AI models to learn from failures and explore hypothetical scenarios. Despite its importance, there are only a few datasets targeting the counterfactual reasoning abilities of multimodal models. Among them, they only cover reasoning over synthetic environments or specific types of events (e.g. traffic collisions), making them hard to reliably benchmark the model generalization ability in diverse real-world scenarios and reasoning dimensions. To overcome these limitations, we develop a video question answering dataset, ACQUIRED: it consists of 3.9K annotated videos, encompassing a wide range of event types and incorporating both first and third-person viewpoints, which ensures a focus on real-world diversity. In addition, each video is annotated with questions that span three distinct dimensions of reasoning, including physical, social, and temporal, which can comprehensively evaluate the model counterfactual abilities along multiple aspects. We benchmark our dataset against several state-of-the-art language-only and multimodal models and experimental results demonstrate a significant performance gap (>13%) between models and humans. The findings suggest that multimodal counterfactual reasoning remains an open challenge and ACQUIRED is a comprehensive and reliable benchmark for inspiring future research in this direction.
Instruction tuning (IT) achieves impressive zero-shot generalization results by training large language models (LLMs) on a massive amount of diverse tasks with instructions. However, how to select new tasks to improve the performance and generalizability of IT models remains an open question. Training on all existing tasks is impractical due to prohibiting computation requirements, and randomly selecting tasks can lead to suboptimal performance. In this work, we propose active instruction tuning based on prompt uncertainty, a novel framework to identify informative tasks, and then actively tune the models on the selected tasks. We represent the informativeness of new tasks with the disagreement of the current model outputs over perturbed prompts. Our experiments on NIV2 and Self-Instruct datasets demonstrate that our method consistently outperforms other baseline strategies for task selection, achieving better out-of-distribution generalization with fewer training tasks. Additionally, we introduce a task map that categorizes and diagnoses tasks based on prompt uncertainty and prediction probability. We discover that training on ambiguous (prompt-uncertain) tasks improves generalization while training on difficult (prompt-certain and low-probability) tasks offers no benefit, underscoring the importance of task selection for instruction tuning.
Large Language Models (LLMs) have recently emerged as an effective tool to assist individuals in writing various types of content, including professional documents such as recommendation letters. Though bringing convenience, this application also introduces unprecedented fairness concerns. Model-generated reference letters might be directly used by users in professional scenarios. If underlying biases exist in these model-constructed letters, using them without scrutinization could lead to direct societal harms, such as sabotaging application success rates for female applicants. In light of this pressing issue, it is imminent and necessary to comprehensively study fairness issues and associated harms in this real-world use case. In this paper, we critically examine gender biases in LLM-generated reference letters. Drawing inspiration from social science findings, we design evaluation methods to manifest biases through 2 dimensions: (1) biases in language style and (2) biases in lexical content. We further investigate the extent of bias propagation by analyzing the hallucination bias of models, a term that we define to be bias exacerbation in model-hallucinated contents. Through benchmarking evaluation on 2 popular LLMs- ChatGPT and Alpaca, we reveal significant gender biases in LLM-generated recommendation letters. Our findings not only warn against using LLMs for this application without scrutinization, but also illuminate the importance of thoroughly studying hidden biases and harms in LLM-generated professional documents.
Large language models (LLMs) such as GPT-3 have demonstrated a strong capability to generate coherent and contextually relevant text. However, amidst their successes, a crucial issue persists: their generated outputs still lack commonsense at times. Moreover, fine-tuning the entire LLM towards more commonsensical outputs is computationally expensive if not infeasible. In this paper, we present a computation-efficient framework that steers a frozen Pre-Trained Language Model (PTLM) towards more commonsensical generation (i.e., producing a plausible output that incorporates a list of concepts in a meaningful way). Specifically, we first construct a reference-free evaluator that assigns a sentence with a commonsensical score by grounding the sentence to a dynamic commonsense knowledge base from four different relational aspects. We then use the scorer as the oracle for commonsense knowledge, and extend the controllable generation method called NADO to train an auxiliary head that guides a fixed PTLM to better satisfy the oracle. We test our framework on a series of GPT-2-, Flan-T5-, and Alpaca-based language models (LMs) on two constrained concept-to-sentence benchmarks. Human evaluation results demonstrate that our method consistently leads to the most commonsensical outputs.
Recent advancements in Large Language Models empower them to follow freeform instructions, including imitating generic or specific demographic personas in conversations. We define generic personas to represent demographic groups, such as "an Asian person", whereas specific personas may take the form of specific popular Asian names like "Yumi". While the adoption of personas enriches user experiences by making dialogue systems more engaging and approachable, it also casts a shadow of potential risk by exacerbating social biases within model responses, thereby causing societal harm through interactions with users. In this paper, we systematically study "persona biases", which we define to be the sensitivity of dialogue models' harmful behaviors contingent upon the personas they adopt. We categorize persona biases into biases in harmful expression and harmful agreement, and establish a comprehensive evaluation framework to measure persona biases in five aspects: Offensiveness, Toxic Continuation, Regard, Stereotype Agreement, and Toxic Agreement. Additionally, we propose to investigate persona biases by experimenting with UNIVERSALPERSONA, a systematically constructed persona dataset encompassing various types of both generic and specific model personas. Through benchmarking on four different models -- including Blender, ChatGPT, Alpaca, and Vicuna -- our study uncovers significant persona biases in dialogue systems. Our findings also underscore the pressing need to revisit the use of personas in dialogue agents to ensure safe application.
The ability to actively ground task instructions from an egocentric view is crucial for AI agents to accomplish tasks or assist humans virtually. One important step towards this goal is to localize and track key active objects that undergo major state change as a consequence of human actions/interactions to the environment without being told exactly what/where to ground (e.g., localizing and tracking the `sponge` in video from the instruction "Dip the `sponge` into the bucket."). While existing works approach this problem from a pure vision perspective, we investigate to which extent the textual modality (i.e., task instructions) and their interaction with visual modality can be beneficial. Specifically, we propose to improve phrase grounding models' ability on localizing the active objects by: (1) learning the role of `objects undergoing change` and extracting them accurately from the instructions, (2) leveraging pre- and post-conditions of the objects during actions, and (3) recognizing the objects more robustly with descriptional knowledge. We leverage large language models (LLMs) to extract the aforementioned action-object knowledge, and design a per-object aggregation masking technique to effectively perform joint inference on object phrases and symbolic knowledge. We evaluate our framework on Ego4D and Epic-Kitchens datasets. Extensive experiments demonstrate the effectiveness of our proposed framework, which leads to>54% improvements in all standard metrics on the TREK-150-OPE-Det localization + tracking task, >7% improvements in all standard metrics on the TREK-150-OPE tracking task, and >3% improvements in average precision (AP) on the Ego4D SCOD task.