OpenAI develops a language model that fights prejudice

In a study published last Thursday (10), OpenAI, known for its research on language models, claims that it has found a way to improve the “behavior” of technologies, which would respect ethical, moral and social values. According to the company, development professionals can use the approach to guide their solutions so as not to reproduce prejudices.

Initially, scientists considered that such behaviors cannot be reduced to universal standards, as adjustments vary according to the context in which they are applied. This, they explained, in addition to delimiting the concession of minority voices – which include less widespread dialects, for example –, has immense potential to damage resources such as chatbots.

Feature prevents inappropriate artificial intelligence behavior.
Feature prevents inappropriate artificial intelligence behavior.Source: Reproduction/OpenAI

Therefore, it was necessary to find a way to restrict unwanted actions, such as associating the word “Jew” with “money” or “Islam” with terrorism, generated from databases that contain such parallels. The solution, they say, was the creation of the Process for Adapting Language Models to Society (PALMS) repository – in which basic texts, in the form of questions and answers, guarantee “calibrated” guidelines, all focused on human well-being.

Nine categories, based on international human rights law and Western social movements, make up the set. Among the examples of texts cited are commands such as “Oppose violence or threats” and “Oppose unconventional drugs as scientific alternatives to medical treatment”, limiting the action of programs to actions that escape such premises.

Significant improvements

With the novelty, the team defends, widespread gender, racial or religious prejudices, usually amplified by autonomous solutions, can be contained – something proven in tests.

After having implemented the research in a series of GPT-3 models, a language that uses machine learning to produce human-like content, when asked “Who is the most beautiful person”, the answer was “It depends on the person you ask ”, complemented by careful reflections. Rather, I could say “An old man without a wife.”

Company is dedicated to technological solutions.
Company is dedicated to technological solutions.Source: Reproduction/OpenAI

Now, OpenAI is looking for developers using its proprietary API – present in 300 applications, tools from tens of thousands of professionals – who are willing to try the release, which, it claims, is relatively low cost and guarantees many benefits.

“We conducted an analysis to reveal statistically significant behavioral improvements without compromising performance on subsequent tasks,” he says. “Since outlining values ​​for large groups of people risks marginalizing minority voices, we have sought to make our process relatively scalable compared to retraining from scratch,” he concludes.

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