Detecting Offensive Content in Open-domain Conversations using Two Stage Semi-supervision

As open-ended human-chatbot interaction becomes commonplace, sensitive content detection gains importance. In this work, we propose a two stage semi-supervised approach to bootstrap large-scale data for automatic sensitive language detection from publicly available web resources. We explore various data selection methods including 1) using a blacklist to rank online discussion forums by the level of their sensitiveness followed by randomly sampling utterances and 2) training a weakly supervised model in conjunction with the blacklist for scoring sentences from online discussion forums to curate a dataset. Our data collection strategy is flexible and allows the models to detect implicit sensitive content for which manual annotations may be difficult. We train models using publicly available annotated datasets as well as using the proposed large-scale semi-supervised datasets. We evaluate the performance of all the models on Twitter and Toxic Wikipedia comments testsets as well as on a manually annotated spoken language dataset collected during a large scale chatbot competition. Results show that a model trained on this collected data outperforms the baseline models by a large margin on both in-domain and out-of-domain testsets, achieving an F1 score of 95.5% on an out-of-domain testset compared to a score of 75% for models trained on public datasets. We also showcase that large scale two stage semi-supervision generalizes well across multiple classes of sensitivities such as hate speech, racism, sexual and pornographic content, etc. without even providing explicit labels for these classes, leading to an average recall of 95.5% versus the models trained using annotated public datasets which achieve an average recall of 73.2% across seven sensitive classes on out-of-domain testsets.

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