Alvin Chan is a Computer Science PhD candidate in Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. His research interests center around making AI technologies safe and beneficial for humanity, encompassing topics like adversarial learning and deep learning for medical applications. He is in his 3rd year and works with Prof Ong Yew Soon. In his free time, he enjoys rock-climbing, jogging and attending tech meetups.
PhD in Computer Science, Year 3
Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
BEng in Bioengineering, 2013
Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
TL;DR: We propose Conditional Adversarially Regularized Autoencoder to imbue poison signature and generate natural-looking poisoned text, to demonstrate models’ vulnerability to backdoor poisoning.
Abstract: This paper demonstrates a fatal vulnerability in natural language inference (NLI) and text classification systems. More concretely, we present a ‘backdoor poisoning’ attack on NLP models. Our poisoning attack utilizes conditional adversarially regularized autoencoder (CARA) to generate poisoned training samples by poison injection in latent space. Just by adding 1% poisoned data, our experiments show that a victim BERT finetuned classifier's predictions can be steered to the poison target class with success rates of >80% when the input hypothesis is injected with the poison signature, demonstrating that NLI and text classification systems face a huge security risk.
TL;DR: We propose CoCon as a self-supervised approach to control LM-based text generation in a fine-grained manner.
Abstract: Pretrained Transformer-based language models (LMs) display remarkable natural language generation capabilities. With their immense potential, controlling text generation of such LMs is getting attention. While there are studies that seek to control high-level attributes (such as sentiment and topic) of generated text, there is still a lack of more precise control over its content at the word- and phrase-level. Here, we propose Content-Conditioner (CoCon) to control an LM's output text with a target content, at a fine-grained level. In our self-supervised approach, the CoCon block learns to help the LM complete a partially-observed text sequence by conditioning with content inputs that are withheld from the LM. Through experiments, we show that CoCon can naturally incorporate target content into generated texts and control high-level text attributes in a zero-shot manner.
TL;DR: By regularizing for similar input gradients, we can transfer adversarial robustness from a teacher to a student classifier even with different training dataset and model architecture.
Abstract: Adversarial perturbations are imperceptible changes to input pixels that can change the prediction of deep learning models. Learned weights of models robust to such perturbations are previously found to be transferable across different tasks but this applies only if the model architecture for the source and target tasks is the same. Input gradients characterize how small changes at each input pixel affect the model output. Using only natural images, we show here that training a student model's input gradients to match those of a robust teacher model can gain robustness close to a strong baseline that is robustly trained from scratch. Through experiments in MNIST, CIFAR-10, CIFAR-100 and Tiny-ImageNet, we show that our proposed method, input gradient adversarial matching, can transfer robustness across different tasks and even across different model architectures. This demonstrates that directly targeting the semantics of input gradients is a feasible way towards adversarial robustness.
TL;DR: We show that training classifiers to produce salient input Jacobian matrices with a GAN-like regularization can boost adversarial robustness.
Abstract: Adversarial examples are crafted with imperceptible perturbations with the intent to fool neural networks. Against such attacks, adversarial training and its variants stand as the strongest defense to date. Previous studies have pointed out that robust models that have undergone adversarial training tend to produce more salient and interpretable Jacobian matrices than their non-robust counterparts. A natural question is whether a model trained with an objective to produce salient Jacobian can result in better robustness. This paper answers this question with affirmative empirical results. We propose Jacobian Adversarially Regularized Networks (JARN) as a method to optimize the saliency of a classifier's Jacobian by adversarially regularizing the model's Jacobian to resemble natural training images. Image classifiers trained with JARN show improved robust accuracy compared to standard models on the MNIST, SVHN and CIFAR-10 datasets, uncovering a new angle to boost robustness without using adversarial training.