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Detecting Bias with Generative Counterfactual Face Attribute Augmentation

Margaret Mitchell
Timnit Gebru
Fairness, Accountability, Transparency and Ethics in Computer Vision Workshop (in conjunction with CVPR) (2019)
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We introduce a simple framework for identifying biases of a smiling attribute classifier. Our method poses counterfactual questions of the form: how would the prediction change if this face characteristic had been different? We leverage recent advances in generative adversarial networks to build a realistic generative model of faces that affords controlled manipulation of specific facial characteristics. Empirically, we identify several different factors of variation (that we believe should be in-dependent of a smiling) that affect the predictions of a smiling classifier trained on CelebA.