Norman I. Badler


Word Embeddings (Also) Encode Human Personality Stereotypes
Oshin Agarwal | Funda Durupınar | Norman I. Badler | Ani Nenkova
Proceedings of the Eighth Joint Conference on Lexical and Computational Semantics (*SEM 2019)

Word representations trained on text reproduce human implicit bias related to gender, race and age. Methods have been developed to remove such bias. Here, we present results that show that human stereotypes exist even for much more nuanced judgments such as personality, for a variety of person identities beyond the typically legally protected attributes and that these are similarly captured in word representations. Specifically, we collected human judgments about a person’s Big Five personality traits formed solely from information about the occupation, nationality or a common noun description of a hypothetical person. Analysis of the data reveals a large number of statistically significant stereotypes in people. We then demonstrate the bias captured in lexical representations is statistically significantly correlated with the documented human bias. Our results, showing bias for a large set of person descriptors for such nuanced traits put in doubt the feasibility of broadly and fairly applying debiasing methods and call for the development of new methods for auditing language technology systems and resources.