Published on Tue Jun 11 2019

Counterfactual Data Augmentation for Mitigating Gender Stereotypes in Languages with Rich Morphology

Ran Zmigrod, Sabrina J. Mielke, Hanna Wallach, Ryan Cotterell

Gender stereotypes are manifest in most of the world's languages and are propagated or amplified by NLP systems. We present a novel approach for converting between masculine and feminine-inflected sentences in such languages. We show that, on average, it reduces gender stereotyping by a factor of 2.

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Abstract

Gender stereotypes are manifest in most of the world's languages and are consequently propagated or amplified by NLP systems. Although research has focused on mitigating gender stereotypes in English, the approaches that are commonly employed produce ungrammatical sentences in morphologically rich languages. We present a novel approach for converting between masculine-inflected and feminine-inflected sentences in such languages. For Spanish and Hebrew, our approach achieves F1 scores of 82% and 73% at the level of tags and accuracies of 90% and 87% at the level of forms. By evaluating our approach using four different languages, we show that, on average, it reduces gender stereotyping by a factor of 2.5 without any sacrifice to grammaticality.