A Note on Data Biases in Generative Models

TitleA Note on Data Biases in Generative Models
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsEsser, P, Rombach, R, Ommer, B
Conference NameNeurIPS 2020 Workshop on Machine Learning for Creativity and Design

It is tempting to think that machines are less prone to unfairness and prejudice. However, machine learning approaches compute their outputs based on data. While biases can enter at any stage of the development pipeline, models are particularly receptive to mirror biases of the datasets they are trained on and therefore do not necessarily reflect truths about the world but, primarily, truths about the data. To raise awareness about the relationship between modern algorithms and the data that shape them, we use a conditional invertible neural network to disentangle the dataset-specific information from the information which is shared across different datasets. In this way, we can project the same image onto different datasets, thereby revealing their inherent biases. We use this methodology to (i) investigate the impact of dataset quality on the performance of generative models, (ii) show how societal biases of datasets are replicated by generative models, and (iii) present creative applications through unpaired transfer between diverse datasets such as photographs, oil portraits, and animes.

Citation Key7025