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Text Style Transfer for Bias Mitigation using Masked Language Modeling

by   Ewoenam Kwaku Tokpo, et al.

It is well known that textual data on the internet and other digital platforms contain significant levels of bias and stereotypes. Although many such texts contain stereotypes and biases that inherently exist in natural language for reasons that are not necessarily malicious, there are crucial reasons to mitigate these biases. For one, these texts are being used as training corpus to train language models for salient applications like cv-screening, search engines, and chatbots; such applications are turning out to produce discriminatory results. Also, several research findings have concluded that biased texts have significant effects on the target demographic groups. For instance, masculine-worded job advertisements tend to be less appealing to female applicants. In this paper, we present a text style transfer model that can be used to automatically debias textual data. Our style transfer model improves on the limitations of many existing style transfer techniques such as loss of content information. Our model solves such issues by combining latent content encoding with explicit keyword replacement. We will show that this technique produces better content preservation whilst maintaining good style transfer accuracy.


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