Let the Models Respond: Interpreting Language Model Detoxification Through the Lens of Prompt Dependence

1 Sep 2023  ·  Daniel Scalena, Gabriele Sarti, Malvina Nissim, Elisabetta Fersini ·

Due to language models' propensity to generate toxic or hateful responses, several techniques were developed to align model generations with users' preferences. Despite the effectiveness of such methods in improving the safety of model interactions, their impact on models' internal processes is still poorly understood. In this work, we apply popular detoxification approaches to several language models and quantify their impact on the resulting models' prompt dependence using feature attribution methods. We evaluate the effectiveness of counter-narrative fine-tuning and compare it with reinforcement learning-driven detoxification, observing differences in prompt reliance between the two methods despite their similar detoxification performances.

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