Revisiting the Evaluation of Theory of Mind through Question Answering

Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)

By: Matthew Le, Y-Lan Boureau, Maximilian Nickel

Abstract

Theory of mind, i.e., the ability to reason about intents and beliefs of agents is an important task in artificial intelligence and central to resolving ambiguous references in natural language dialogue. In this work, we revisit the evaluation of theory of mind through question answering. We show that current evaluation methods are flawed and that existing benchmark tasks can be solved without theory of mind due to dataset biases. Based on prior work, we propose an improved evaluation protocol and dataset in which we explicitly control for data regularities via a careful examination of the answer space. We show that state-of-the-art methods which are successful on existing benchmarks fail to solve theory-of-mind tasks in our proposed approach.