Establishing Trustworthiness: Rethinking Tasks and Model Evaluation

Robert Litschko, Max Müller-Eberstein, Rob van der Goot, Leon Weber-Genzel, Barbara Plank

Research output: Conference Article in Proceeding or Book/Report chapterArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


Language understanding is a multi-faceted cognitive capability, which the Natural Language Processing (NLP) community has striven to model computationally for decades. Traditionally, facets of linguistic intelligence have been compartmentalized into tasks with specialized model architectures and corresponding evaluation protocols. With the advent of large language models (LLMs) the community has witnessed a dramatic shift towards general purpose, task-agnostic approaches powered by generative models. As a consequence, the traditional compartmentalized notion of language tasks is breaking down, followed by an increasing challenge for evaluation and analysis. At the same time, LLMs are being deployed in more real-world scenarios, including previously unforeseen zero-shot setups, increasing the need for trustworthy and reliable systems. Therefore, we argue that it is time to rethink what constitutes tasks and model evaluation in NLP, and pursue a more holistic view on language, placing trustworthiness at the center. Towards this goal, we review existing compartmentalized approaches for understanding the origins of a model’s functional capacity, and provide recommendations for more multi-faceted evaluation protocols.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2023 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing
Number of pages10
Place of PublicationSingapore
PublisherAssociation for Computational Linguistics
Publication date6 Dec 2023
Publication statusPublished - 6 Dec 2023


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