Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg
Bilder vom Neuenheimer Feld, Heidelberg und der Universität Heidelberg
Siegel der Uni Heidelberg

Gender Bias in News Summarization: Measures, Pitfalls and Corpora


Summarization is an important application of large language models (LLMs). Most previous evaluation of summarization models has focused on their performance in content selection, faithfulness, grammaticality and coherence. However, it is well known that LLMs reproduce and reinforce harmful social biases. This raises the question: Do these biases affect model outputs in a relatively constrained setting like summarization?\n\nTo help answer this question, we first motivate and introduce a number of definitions for biased behaviours in summarization models, along with practical operationalizations. Since we find that biases inherent to input documents can confound bias analysis in summaries, we propose a method to generate input documents with carefully controlled demographic attributes. This allows us to study summarizer behavior in a controlled setting, while still working with realistic input documents.\n\nFinally, we measure gender bias in English summaries generated by both purpose-built summarization models and general purpose chat models as a case study. We find content selection in single document summarization to be largely unaffected by gender bias, while hallucinations exhibit evidence of downstream biases in summarization.

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