In this position paper, we argue that the classical evaluation on Natural Language Processing (NLP) tasks using annotated benchmarks is in trouble. The worst kind of data contamination happens when a Large Language Model (LLM) is trained on the test split of a benchmark, and then evaluated in the same benchmark. The extent of the problem is unknown, as it is not straightforward to measure. Contamination causes an overestimation of the performance of a contaminated model in a target benchmark and associated task with respect to their non-contaminated counterparts. The consequences can be very harmful, with wrong scientific conclusions being published while other correct ones are discarded. This position paper defines different levels of data contamination and argues for a community effort, including the development of automatic and semi-automatic measures to detect when data from a benchmark was exposed to a model, and suggestions for flagging papers with conclusions that are compromised by data contamination.
Translate-test is a popular technique to improve the performance of multilingual language models. This approach works by translating the input into English using an external machine translation system, and running inference over the translated input. However, these improvements can be attributed to the use of a separate translation system, which is typically trained on large amounts of parallel data not seen by the language model. In this work, we introduce a new approach called self-translate, which overcomes the need of an external translation system by leveraging the few-shot translation capabilities of multilingual language models. Experiments over 5 tasks show that self-translate consistently outperforms direct inference, demonstrating that language models are unable to leverage their full multilingual potential when prompted in non-English languages. Our code is available at https://github.com/juletx/self-translate.