Multilingual Holistic Bias: Extending Descriptors and Patterns to Unveil Demographic Biases in Languages at Scale

Marta R. Costa-Jussà, Pierre Andrews, Eric Smith, Prangthip Hansanti, Christophe Ropers, Elahe Kalbassi, Cynthia Gao, Daniel Licht, Carleigh Wood

We introduce a multilingual extension of the HOLISTICBIAS dataset, the largest English template-based taxonomy of textual people references: MULTILINGUALHOLISTICBIAS. This extension consists of 20,459 sentences in 50 languages distributed across all 13 demographic axes. Source sentences are built from combinations of 118 demographic descriptors and three patterns, excluding nonsensical combinations. Multilingual translations include alternatives for gendered languages that cover gendered translations when there is ambiguity in English. Our benchmark is intended to uncover demographic imbalances and be the tool to quantify mitigations towards them. Our initial findings show that translation quality for EN-to-XX translations is an average of 8 spBLEU better when evaluating with the masculine human reference compared to feminine. In the opposite direction, XX-to-EN, we compare the robustness of the model when the source input only differs in gender (masculine or feminine) and masculine translations are an average of almost 4 spBLEU better than feminine. When embedding sentences to a joint multilingual sentence representations space, we find that for most languages masculine translations are significantly closer to the English neutral sentences when embedded.

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