Recent years have seen a surge in the popularity of commercial AI products based on generative, multi-purpose AI systems promising a unified approach to building machine learning (ML) models into technology. However, this ambition of "generality" comes at a steep cost to the environment, given the amount of energy these systems require and the amount of carbon that they emit. In this work, we propose the first systematic comparison of the ongoing inference cost of various categories of ML systems, covering both task-specific (i.e. finetuned models that carry out a single task) and `general-purpose' models, (i.e. those trained for multiple tasks). We measure deployment cost as the amount of energy and carbon required to perform 1,000 inferences on representative benchmark dataset using these models. We find that multi-purpose, generative architectures are orders of magnitude more expensive than task-specific systems for a variety of tasks, even when controlling for the number of model parameters. We conclude with a discussion around the current trend of deploying multi-purpose generative ML systems, and caution that their utility should be more intentionally weighed against increased costs in terms of energy and emissions. All the data from our study can be accessed via an interactive demo to carry out further exploration and analysis.
Much of the recent discourse within the NLP research community has been centered around Large Language Models (LLMs), their functionality and potential -- yet not only do we not have a working definition of LLMs, but much of this discourse relies on claims and assumptions that are worth re-examining. This position paper contributes a definition of LLMs, explicates some of the assumptions made regarding their functionality, and outlines the existing evidence for and against them. We conclude with suggestions for research directions and their framing in future work.
Generative AI systems across modalities, ranging from text, image, audio, and video, have broad social impacts, but there exists no official standard for means of evaluating those impacts and which impacts should be evaluated. We move toward a standard approach in evaluating a generative AI system for any modality, in two overarching categories: what is able to be evaluated in a base system that has no predetermined application and what is able to be evaluated in society. We describe specific social impact categories and how to approach and conduct evaluations in the base technical system, then in people and society. Our framework for a base system defines seven categories of social impact: bias, stereotypes, and representational harms; cultural values and sensitive content; disparate performance; privacy and data protection; financial costs; environmental costs; and data and content moderation labor costs. Suggested methods for evaluation apply to all modalities and analyses of the limitations of existing evaluations serve as a starting point for necessary investment in future evaluations. We offer five overarching categories for what is able to be evaluated in society, each with their own subcategories: trustworthiness and autonomy; inequality, marginalization, and violence; concentration of authority; labor and creativity; and ecosystem and environment. Each subcategory includes recommendations for mitigating harm. We are concurrently crafting an evaluation repository for the AI research community to contribute existing evaluations along the given categories. This version will be updated following a CRAFT session at ACM FAccT 2023.
ROOTS is a 1.6TB multilingual text corpus developed for the training of BLOOM, currently the largest language model explicitly accompanied by commensurate data governance efforts. In continuation of these efforts, we present the ROOTS Search Tool: a search engine over the entire ROOTS corpus offering both fuzzy and exact search capabilities. ROOTS is the largest corpus to date that can be investigated this way. The ROOTS Search Tool is open-sourced and available on Hugging Face Spaces. We describe our implementation and the possible use cases of our tool.
Machine learning (ML) requires using energy to carry out computations during the model training process. The generation of this energy comes with an environmental cost in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, depending on quantity used and the energy source. Existing research on the environmental impacts of ML has been limited to analyses covering a small number of models and does not adequately represent the diversity of ML models and tasks. In the current study, we present a survey of the carbon emissions of 95 ML models across time and different tasks in natural language processing and computer vision. We analyze them in terms of the energy sources used, the amount of CO2 emissions produced, how these emissions evolve across time and how they relate to model performance. We conclude with a discussion regarding the carbon footprint of our field and propose the creation of a centralized repository for reporting and tracking these emissions.
We identify the task of measuring data to quantitatively characterize the composition of machine learning data and datasets. Similar to an object's height, width, and volume, data measurements quantify different attributes of data along common dimensions that support comparison. Several lines of research have proposed what we refer to as measurements, with differing terminology; we bring some of this work together, particularly in fields of computer vision and language, and build from it to motivate measuring data as a critical component of responsible AI development. Measuring data aids in systematically building and analyzing machine learning (ML) data towards specific goals and gaining better control of what modern ML systems will learn. We conclude with a discussion of the many avenues of future work, the limitations of data measurements, and how to leverage these measurement approaches in research and practice.
Large language models (LLMs) have been shown to be able to perform new tasks based on a few demonstrations or natural language instructions. While these capabilities have led to widespread adoption, most LLMs are developed by resource-rich organizations and are frequently kept from the public. As a step towards democratizing this powerful technology, we present BLOOM, a 176B-parameter open-access language model designed and built thanks to a collaboration of hundreds of researchers. BLOOM is a decoder-only Transformer language model that was trained on the ROOTS corpus, a dataset comprising hundreds of sources in 46 natural and 13 programming languages (59 in total). We find that BLOOM achieves competitive performance on a wide variety of benchmarks, with stronger results after undergoing multitask prompted finetuning. To facilitate future research and applications using LLMs, we publicly release our models and code under the Responsible AI License.
Progress in machine learning (ML) comes with a cost to the environment, given that training ML models requires significant computational resources, energy and materials. In the present article, we aim to quantify the carbon footprint of BLOOM, a 176-billion parameter language model, across its life cycle. We estimate that BLOOM's final training emitted approximately 24.7 tonnes of~\carboneq~if we consider only the dynamic power consumption, and 50.5 tonnes if we account for all processes ranging from equipment manufacturing to energy-based operational consumption. We also study the energy requirements and carbon emissions of its deployment for inference via an API endpoint receiving user queries in real-time. We conclude with a discussion regarding the difficulty of precisely estimating the carbon footprint of ML models and future research directions that can contribute towards improving carbon emissions reporting.
Evaluation is a key part of machine learning (ML), yet there is a lack of support and tooling to enable its informed and systematic practice. We introduce Evaluate and Evaluation on the Hub --a set of tools to facilitate the evaluation of models and datasets in ML. Evaluate is a library to support best practices for measurements, metrics, and comparisons of data and models. Its goal is to support reproducibility of evaluation, centralize and document the evaluation process, and broaden evaluation to cover more facets of model performance. It includes over 50 efficient canonical implementations for a variety of domains and scenarios, interactive documentation, and the ability to easily share implementations and outcomes. The library is available at https://github.com/huggingface/evaluate. In addition, we introduce Evaluation on the Hub, a platform that enables the large-scale evaluation of over 75,000 models and 11,000 datasets on the Hugging Face Hub, for free, at the click of a button. Evaluation on the Hub is available at https://huggingface.co/autoevaluate.
ImageNet-1k is a dataset often used for benchmarking machine learning (ML) models and evaluating tasks such as image recognition and object detection. Wild animals make up 27% of ImageNet-1k but, unlike classes representing people and objects, these data have not been closely scrutinized. In the current paper, we analyze the 13,450 images from 269 classes that represent wild animals in the ImageNet-1k validation set, with the participation of expert ecologists. We find that many of the classes are ill-defined or overlapping, and that 12% of the images are incorrectly labeled, with some classes having >90% of images incorrect. We also find that both the wildlife-related labels and images included in ImageNet-1k present significant geographical and cultural biases, as well as ambiguities such as artificial animals, multiple species in the same image, or the presence of humans. Our findings highlight serious issues with the extensive use of this dataset for evaluating ML systems, the use of such algorithms in wildlife-related tasks, and more broadly the ways in which ML datasets are commonly created and curated.