Keywords: Bias, Pain, Medicine, Healthcare, NLP, QA
TL;DR: We introduce a dataset and accompanying experimental design/analysis framework for assessing bias in medical QA in the context of pain management.
Abstract: Recent advances in Natural Language Processing (NLP), and specifically automated Question Answering (QA) systems, have demonstrated both impressive linguistic fluency and a pernicious tendency to reflect social biases. In this study, we introduce Q-Pain, a dataset for assessing bias in medical QA in the context of pain management, one of the most challenging forms of clinical decision-making. Along with the dataset, we propose a new, rigorous framework, including a sample experimental design, to measure the potential biases present when making treatment decisions. We demonstrate its use by assessing two reference Question-Answering systems, GPT-2 and GPT-3, and find statistically significant differences in treatment between intersectional race-gender subgroups, thus reaffirming the risks posed by AI in medical settings, and the need for datasets like ours to ensure safety before medical AI applications are deployed.
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