Caleb Ziems


Inducing Positive Perspectives with Text Reframing
Caleb Ziems | Minzhi Li | Anthony Zhang | Diyi Yang
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Sentiment transfer is one popular example of a text style transfer task, where the goal is to reverse the sentiment polarity of a text. With a sentiment reversal comes also a reversal in meaning. We introduce a different but related task called positive reframing in which we neutralize a negative point of view and generate a more positive perspective for the author without contradicting the original meaning. Our insistence on meaning preservation makes positive reframing a challenging and semantically rich task. To facilitate rapid progress, we introduce a large-scale benchmark, Positive Psychology Frames, with 8,349 sentence pairs and 12,755 structured annotations to explain positive reframing in terms of six theoretically-motivated reframing strategies. Then we evaluate a set of state-of-the-art text style transfer models, and conclude by discussing key challenges and directions for future work.

VALUE: Understanding Dialect Disparity in NLU
Caleb Ziems | Jiaao Chen | Camille Harris | Jessica Anderson | Diyi Yang
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

English Natural Language Understanding (NLU) systems have achieved great performances and even outperformed humans on benchmarks like GLUE and SuperGLUE. However, these benchmarks contain only textbook Standard American English (SAE). Other dialects have been largely overlooked in the NLP community. This leads to biased and inequitable NLU systems that serve only a sub-population of speakers. To understand disparities in current models and to facilitate more dialect-competent NLU systems, we introduce the VernAcular Language Understanding Evaluation (VALUE) benchmark, a challenging variant of GLUE that we created with a set of lexical and morphosyntactic transformation rules. In this initial release (V.1), we construct rules for 11 features of African American Vernacular English (AAVE), and we recruit fluent AAVE speakers to validate each feature transformation via linguistic acceptability judgments in a participatory design manner. Experiments show that these new dialectal features can lead to a drop in model performance.

The Moral Integrity Corpus: A Benchmark for Ethical Dialogue Systems
Caleb Ziems | Jane Yu | Yi-Chia Wang | Alon Halevy | Diyi Yang
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Conversational agents have come increasingly closer to human competence in open-domain dialogue settings; however, such models can reflect insensitive, hurtful, or entirely incoherent viewpoints that erode a user’s trust in the moral integrity of the system. Moral deviations are difficult to mitigate because moral judgments are not universal, and there may be multiple competing judgments that apply to a situation simultaneously. In this work, we introduce a new resource, not to authoritatively resolve moral ambiguities, but instead to facilitate systematic understanding of the intuitions, values and moral judgments reflected in the utterances of dialogue systems. The Moral Integrity Corpus, MIC, is such a resource, which captures the moral assumptions of 38k prompt-reply pairs, using 99k distinct Rules of Thumb (RoTs). Each RoT reflects a particular moral conviction that can explain why a chatbot’s reply may appear acceptable or problematic. We further organize RoTs with a set of 9 moral and social attributes and benchmark performance for attribute classification. Most importantly, we show that current neural language models can automatically generate new RoTs that reasonably describe previously unseen interactions, but they still struggle with certain scenarios. Our findings suggest that MIC will be a useful resource for understanding and language models’ implicit moral assumptions and flexibly benchmarking the integrity of conversational agents. To download the data, see


Latent Hatred: A Benchmark for Understanding Implicit Hate Speech
Mai ElSherief | Caleb Ziems | David Muchlinski | Vaishnavi Anupindi | Jordyn Seybolt | Munmun De Choudhury | Diyi Yang
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Hate speech has grown significantly on social media, causing serious consequences for victims of all demographics. Despite much attention being paid to characterize and detect discriminatory speech, most work has focused on explicit or overt hate speech, failing to address a more pervasive form based on coded or indirect language. To fill this gap, this work introduces a theoretically-justified taxonomy of implicit hate speech and a benchmark corpus with fine-grained labels for each message and its implication. We present systematic analyses of our dataset using contemporary baselines to detect and explain implicit hate speech, and we discuss key features that challenge existing models. This dataset will continue to serve as a useful benchmark for understanding this multifaceted issue.

To Protect and To Serve? Analyzing Entity-Centric Framing of Police Violence
Caleb Ziems | Diyi Yang
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2021

Framing has significant but subtle effects on public opinion and policy. We propose an NLP framework to measure entity-centric frames. We use it to understand media coverage on police violence in the United States in a new Police Violence Frames Corpus of 82k news articles spanning 7k police killings. Our work uncovers more than a dozen framing devices and reveals significant differences in the way liberal and conservative news sources frame both the issue of police violence and the entities involved. Conservative sources emphasize when the victim is armed or attacking an officer and are more likely to mention the victim’s criminal record. Liberal sources focus more on the underlying systemic injustice, highlighting the victim’s race and that they were unarmed. We discover temporary spikes in these injustice frames near high-profile shooting events, and finally, we show protest volume correlates with and precedes media framing decisions.