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MIT: Measuring Media Bias in Major News Outlets With Machine Learning

#artificialintelligence

A study from MIT has used machine learning techniques to identify biased phrasing across around 100 of the largest and most influential news outlets in the US and beyond, including 83 of the most influential print news publications. It's a research effort that shows the way towards automated systems that could potentially auto-classify the political character of a publication, and give readers a deeper insight into the ethical stance of an outlet on topics that they may feel passionately about. The work centers on the way topics are addressed with particular phrasing, such as undocumented immigrant illegal Immigrant, fetus unborn baby, demonstrators anarchists. The project used Natural Language Processing (NLP) techniques to extract and classify such instances of'charged' language (on the assumption that apparently more'neutral' terms also represent a political stance) into a broad mapping that reveals left and right-leaning bias across over three million articles from around 100 news outlets, resulting in a navigable bias landscape of the publications in question. The paper comes from Samantha D'Alonzo and Max Tegmark at MIT's Department of Physics, and observes that a number of recent initiatives around'fact checking', in the wake of numerous'fake news' scandals, can be interpreted as disingenuous and serving the causes of particular interests.


Phrase Type Sensitive Tensor Indexing Model for Semantic Composition

AAAI Conferences

Compositional semantic aims at constructing the meaning of phrases or sentences according to the compositionality of word meanings. In this paper, we propose to synchronously learn the representations of individual words and extracted high-frequency phrases. Representations of extracted phrases are considered as gold standard for constructing more general operations to compose the representation of unseen phrases. We propose a grammatical type specific model that improves the composition flexibility by adopting vector-tensor-vector operations. Our model embodies the compositional characteristics of traditional additive and multiplicative model. Empirical result shows that our model outperforms state-of-the-art composition methods in the task of computing phrase similarities.


Distributed Representations of Words and Phrases and their Compositionality

arXiv.org Machine Learning

The recently introduced continuous Skip-gram model is an efficient method for learning high-quality distributed vector representations that capture a large number of precise syntactic and semantic word relationships. In this paper we present several extensions that improve both the quality of the vectors and the training speed. By subsampling of the frequent words we obtain significant speedup and also learn more regular word representations. We also describe a simple alternative to the hierarchical softmax called negative sampling. An inherent limitation of word representations is their indifference to word order and their inability to represent idiomatic phrases. For example, the meanings of "Canada" and "Air" cannot be easily combined to obtain "Air Canada". Motivated by this example, we present a simple method for finding phrases in text, and show that learning good vector representations for millions of phrases is possible.


Distributed Representations of Words and Phrases and their Compositionality

Neural Information Processing Systems

The recently introduced continuous Skip-gram model is an efficient method for learning high-quality distributed vector representations that capture a large number of precise syntactic and semantic word relationships. In this paper we present several improvements that make the Skip-gram model more expressive and enable it to learn higher quality vectors more rapidly. We show that by subsampling frequent words we obtain significant speedup, and also learn higher quality representations as measured by our tasks. We also introduce Negative Sampling, a simplified variant of Noise Contrastive Estimation (NCE) that learns more accurate vectors for frequent words compared to the hierarchical softmax. An inherent limitation of word representations is their indifference to word order and their inability to represent idiomatic phrases. For example, the meanings of Canada'' and "Air'' cannot be easily combined to obtain "Air Canada''. Motivated by this example, we present a simple and efficient method for finding phrases, and show that their vector representations can be accurately learned by the Skip-gram model. "


Social Biases in NLP Models as Barriers for Persons with Disabilities

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Building equitable and inclusive NLP technologies demands consideration of whether and how social attitudes are represented in ML models. In particular, representations encoded in models often inadvertently perpetuate undesirable social biases from the data on which they are trained. In this paper, we present evidence of such undesirable biases towards mentions of disability in two different English language models: toxicity prediction and sentiment analysis. Next, we demonstrate that the neural embeddings that are the critical first step in most NLP pipelines similarly contain undesirable biases towards mentions of disability. We end by highlighting topical biases in the discourse about disability which may contribute to the observed model biases; for instance, gun violence, homelessness, and drug addiction are over-represented in texts discussing mental illness.