Retrieval Augmentation Reduces Hallucination in Conversation

Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)


Despite showing increasingly human-like conversational abilities, state-of-the-art dialogue models often suffer from factual incorrectness and hallucination of knowledge. In this work we explore the use of neural-retrieval-in-the-loop architectures – recently shown to be effective in open-domain QA – for knowledge-grounded dialogue, a task that is arguably more challenging as it requires querying based on complex multi-turn dialogue context and generating conversationally coherent responses. We study various types of architectures with multiple components – retrievers, rankers, and encoder-decoders – with the goal of maximizing knowledgeability while retaining conversational ability. We demonstrate that our best models obtain state-of-the-art performance on two knowledge-grounded conversational tasks. The models exhibit open-domain conversational capabilities, generalize effectively to scenarios not within the training data, and, as verified by human evaluations, substantially reduce the well-known problem of knowledge hallucination in state-of-the-art chatbots.

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