Large language models (LLMs) exhibit in-context learning abilities which enable the same model to perform several tasks without any task-specific training. In contrast, traditional adaptation approaches, such as fine-tuning, modify the underlying models for each specific task. In-context learning, however, consistently underperforms task-specific tuning approaches even when presented with the same examples. While most existing approaches (e.g., prompt engineering) focus on the LLM's learned representations to patch this performance gap, our analysis actually reveal that LLM representations contain sufficient information to make good predictions. As such, we focus on the LLM's reasoning abilities and demonstrate that this performance gap exists due to their inability to perform simple probabilistic reasoning tasks. This raises an intriguing question: Are LLMs actually capable of learning how to reason in a task-agnostic manner? We answer this in the affirmative and propose TART which generically improves an LLM's reasoning abilities using a synthetically trained Transformer-based reasoning module. TART trains this reasoning module in a task-agnostic manner using only synthetic logistic regression tasks and composes it with an arbitrary real-world pre-trained model without any additional training. With a single inference module, TART improves performance across different model families (GPT-Neo, Pythia, BLOOM), model sizes (100M - 6B), tasks (14 NLP binary classification tasks), and even across different modalities (audio and vision). Additionally, on the RAFT Benchmark, TART improves GPT-Neo (125M)'s performance such that it outperforms BLOOM (176B), and is within 4% of GPT-3 (175B). Our code and models are available at https://github.com/HazyResearch/TART .
A long standing goal of the data management community is to develop general, automated systems that ingest semi-structured documents and output queryable tables without human effort or domain specific customization. Given the sheer variety of potential documents, state-of-the art systems make simplifying assumptions and use domain specific training. In this work, we ask whether we can maintain generality by using large language models (LLMs). LLMs, which are pretrained on broad data, can perform diverse downstream tasks simply conditioned on natural language task descriptions. We propose and evaluate EVAPORATE, a simple, prototype system powered by LLMs. We identify two fundamentally different strategies for implementing this system: prompt the LLM to directly extract values from documents or prompt the LLM to synthesize code that performs the extraction. Our evaluations show a cost-quality tradeoff between these two approaches. Code synthesis is cheap, but far less accurate than directly processing each document with the LLM. To improve quality while maintaining low cost, we propose an extended code synthesis implementation, EVAPORATE-CODE+, which achieves better quality than direct extraction. Our key insight is to generate many candidate functions and ensemble their extractions using weak supervision. EVAPORATE-CODE+ not only outperforms the state-of-the art systems, but does so using a sublinear pass over the documents with the LLM. This equates to a 110x reduction in the number of tokens the LLM needs to process, averaged across 16 real-world evaluation settings of 10k documents each.
Large language models (LLMs) transfer well to new tasks out-of-the-box simply given a natural language prompt that demonstrates how to perform the task and no additional training. Prompting is a brittle process wherein small modifications to the prompt can cause large variations in the model predictions, and therefore significant effort is dedicated towards designing a painstakingly "perfect prompt" for a task. To mitigate the high degree of effort involved in prompt-design, we instead ask whether producing multiple effective, yet imperfect, prompts and aggregating them can lead to a high quality prompting strategy. Our observations motivate our proposed prompting method, ASK ME ANYTHING (AMA). We first develop an understanding of the effective prompt formats, finding that question-answering (QA) prompts, which encourage open-ended generation ("Who went to the park?") tend to outperform those that restrict the model outputs ("John went to the park. Output True or False."). Our approach recursively uses the LLM itself to transform task inputs to the effective QA format. We apply the collected prompts to obtain several noisy votes for the input's true label. We find that the prompts can have very different accuracies and complex dependencies and thus propose to use weak supervision, a procedure for combining the noisy predictions, to produce the final predictions for the inputs. We evaluate AMA across open-source model families (e.g., EleutherAI, BLOOM, OPT, and T0) and model sizes (125M-175B parameters), demonstrating an average performance lift of 10.2% over the few-shot baseline. This simple strategy enables the open-source GPT-J-6B model to match and exceed the performance of few-shot GPT3-175B on 15 of 20 popular benchmarks. Averaged across these tasks, the GPT-Neo-6B model outperforms few-shot GPT3-175B. We release our code here: https://github.com/HazyResearch/ama_prompting
We present Chirpy Cardinal, an open-domain social chatbot. Aiming to be both informative and conversational, our bot chats with users in an authentic, emotionally intelligent way. By integrating controlled neural generation with scaffolded, hand-written dialogue, we let both the user and bot take turns driving the conversation, producing an engaging and socially fluent experience. Deployed in the fourth iteration of the Alexa Prize Socialbot Grand Challenge, Chirpy Cardinal handled thousands of conversations per day, placing second out of nine bots with an average user rating of 3.58/5.
Foundation Models (FMs) are models trained on large corpora of data that, at very large scale, can generalize to new tasks without any task-specific finetuning. As these models continue to grow in size, innovations continue to push the boundaries of what these models can do on language and image tasks. This paper aims to understand an underexplored area of FMs: classical data tasks like cleaning and integration. As a proof-of-concept, we cast three data cleaning and integration tasks as prompting tasks and evaluate the performance of FMs on these tasks. We find that large FMs generalize and achieve SoTA performance on data cleaning and integration tasks, even though they are not trained for these data tasks. We identify specific research challenges and opportunities that these models present, including challenges with private and temporal data, and opportunities to make data driven systems more accessible to non-experts. We make our code and experiments publicly available at: https://github.com/HazyResearch/fm_data_tasks.
An ideal learned representation should display transferability and robustness. Supervised contrastive learning (SupCon) is a promising method for training accurate models, but produces representations that do not capture these properties due to class collapse -- when all points in a class map to the same representation. Recent work suggests that "spreading out" these representations improves them, but the precise mechanism is poorly understood. We argue that creating spread alone is insufficient for better representations, since spread is invariant to permutations within classes. Instead, both the correct degree of spread and a mechanism for breaking this invariance are necessary. We first prove that adding a weighted class-conditional InfoNCE loss to SupCon controls the degree of spread. Next, we study three mechanisms to break permutation invariance: using a constrained encoder, adding a class-conditional autoencoder, and using data augmentation. We show that the latter two encourage clustering of latent subclasses under more realistic conditions than the former. Using these insights, we show that adding a properly-weighted class-conditional InfoNCE loss and a class-conditional autoencoder to SupCon achieves 11.1 points of lift on coarse-to-fine transfer across 5 standard datasets and 4.7 points on worst-group robustness on 3 datasets, setting state-of-the-art on CelebA by 11.5 points.
The rapid proliferation of machine learning models across domains and deployment settings has given rise to various communities (e.g. industry practitioners) which seek to benchmark models across tasks and objectives of personal value. Unfortunately, these users cannot use standard benchmark results to perform such value-driven comparisons as traditional benchmarks evaluate models on a single objective (e.g. average accuracy) and fail to facilitate a standardized training framework that controls for confounding variables (e.g. computational budget), making fair comparisons difficult. To address these challenges, we introduce the open-source Ludwig Benchmarking Toolkit (LBT), a personalized benchmarking toolkit for running end-to-end benchmark studies (from hyperparameter optimization to evaluation) across an easily extensible set of tasks, deep learning models, datasets and evaluation metrics. LBT provides a configurable interface for controlling training and customizing evaluation, a standardized training framework for eliminating confounding variables, and support for multi-objective evaluation. We demonstrate how LBT can be used to create personalized benchmark studies with a large-scale comparative analysis for text classification across 7 models and 9 datasets. We explore the trade-offs between inference latency and performance, relationships between dataset attributes and performance, and the effects of pretraining on convergence and robustness, showing how LBT can be used to satisfy various benchmarking objectives.
* 14 pages, 14 figures, 35th Conference on Neural Information
Processing Systems (NeurIPS 2021) Track on Datasets and Benchmarks
AI is undergoing a paradigm shift with the rise of models (e.g., BERT, DALL-E, GPT-3) that are trained on broad data at scale and are adaptable to a wide range of downstream tasks. We call these models foundation models to underscore their critically central yet incomplete character. This report provides a thorough account of the opportunities and risks of foundation models, ranging from their capabilities (e.g., language, vision, robotics, reasoning, human interaction) and technical principles(e.g., model architectures, training procedures, data, systems, security, evaluation, theory) to their applications (e.g., law, healthcare, education) and societal impact (e.g., inequity, misuse, economic and environmental impact, legal and ethical considerations). Though foundation models are based on standard deep learning and transfer learning, their scale results in new emergent capabilities,and their effectiveness across so many tasks incentivizes homogenization. Homogenization provides powerful leverage but demands caution, as the defects of the foundation model are inherited by all the adapted models downstream. Despite the impending widespread deployment of foundation models, we currently lack a clear understanding of how they work, when they fail, and what they are even capable of due to their emergent properties. To tackle these questions, we believe much of the critical research on foundation models will require deep interdisciplinary collaboration commensurate with their fundamentally sociotechnical nature.
* Authored by the Center for Research on Foundation Models (CRFM) at
the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence (HAI)