On the Paradox of Learning to Reason from Data

Cornell University published this article on May-2022: “Logical reasoning is needed in a wide range of NLP tasks. Can a BERT model be trained end-to-end to solve logical reasoning problems presented in natural language? We attempt to answer this question in a confined problem space where there exists a set of parameters that perfectly simulates logical reasoning. We make observations that seem to contradict each other: BERT attains near-perfect accuracy on in-distribution test examples while failing to generalize to other data distributions over the exact same problem space. Our study provides an explanation for this paradox: instead of learning to emulate the correct reasoning function, BERT has in fact learned statistical features that inherently exist in logical reasoning problems. Link

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