Reducing Gender Bias in Word-Level Language Models with a Gender-Equalizing Loss Function

Gender bias exists in natural language datasets which neural language models tend to learn, resulting in biased text generation. In this research, we propose a debiasing approach based on the loss function modification. We introduce a new term to the loss function which attempts to equalize the probabilities of male and female words in the output. Using an array of bias evaluation metrics, we provide empirical evidence that our approach successfully mitigates gender bias in language models without increasing perplexity. In comparison to existing debiasing strategies, data augmentation, and word embedding debiasing, our method performs better in several aspects, especially in reducing gender bias in occupation words. Finally, we introduce a combination of data augmentation and our approach, and show that it outperforms existing strategies in all bias evaluation metrics.

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