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Preotiuc-Pietro, Daniel, Sharath Chandra Guntuku, and Lyle Ungar. Controlling Human Perception of Basic User Traits In EMNLP., 2017. AbstractPDFPoster

Much of our online communication is text-mediated and, lately, more common with automated agents. Unlike interacting with humans, these agents currently do not tailor their language to the type of person they are communicating to. In this pilot study, we measure the extent to which human perception of basic user trait information – gender and age – is controllable through text. Using automatic models of gender and age prediction, we estimate which tweets posted by a user are more likely to mis-characterize his traits. We perform multiple controlled crowdsourcing experiments in which we show that we can reduce the human prediction accuracy of gender to almost random – a > 20% drop in accuracy. Our experiments show that it is practically feasible for multiple applications such as text generation, text summarization or machine translation to be tailored to specific traits and perceived as such.

Flekova, Lucie, Jordan Carpenter, Salvatore Giorgi, Lyle Ungar, and Daniel Preoţiuc-Pietro. Analysing Biases in Human Perception of User Age and Gender from Text. ACL., 2016. AbstractPDFPoster

User traits disclosed through written text, such as age and gender, can be used to personalize applications such as recommender systems or conversational agents. However, human perception of these traits is not perfectly aligned with reality. In this paper, we conduct a large-scale crowdsourcing experiment on guessing age and gender from tweets. We systematically analyze the quality and possible biases of these predictions. We identify the textual cues which lead to miss-assessments of traits or make workers more or less confident in their choice. Our study demonstrates that differences between real and perceived traits are noteworthy and elucidates inaccurately used stereotypes in human perception.

Flekova, Lucie, Daniel Preoţiuc-Pietro, Jordan Carpenter, Salvatore Giorgi, and Lyle Ungar. Analyzing crowdsourced assessment of user traits through Twitter posts In Work-in-Progress. HCOMP, 2015. AbstractPDFSup. MaterialsPoster

Social media allows any user to express themselves to the public through posting content. Using a crowdsourcing experiment, we aim to quantify and analyze which human attributes lead to better perceptions of the true identity of others. Using tweet content from a set of users with known age and gender information, we ask workers to rate their perception of these traits and we analyze those results in relation to the crowdsourcing workers’ age and gender. Results show that female workers are both more confident and more accurate at reporting gender, and workers in their thirties were most accurate but least confident for rating age. Our study is a first step in identifying the worker traits which contribute to a better understanding of others through their posted text content. Our findings help to identify the types of workers best suited for certain tasks.