The legality of training language models (LMs) on copyrighted or otherwise restricted data is under intense debate. However, as we show, model performance significantly degrades if trained only on low-risk text (e.g., out-of-copyright books or government documents), due to its limited size and domain coverage. We present SILO, a new language model that manages this risk-performance tradeoff during inference. SILO is built by (1) training a parametric LM on Open License Corpus (OLC), a new corpus we curate with 228B tokens of public domain and permissively licensed text and (2) augmenting it with a more general and easily modifiable nonparametric datastore (e.g., containing copyrighted books or news) that is only queried during inference. The datastore allows use of high-risk data without training on it, supports sentence-level data attribution, and enables data producers to opt out from the model by removing content from the store. These capabilities can foster compliance with data-use regulations such as the fair use doctrine in the United States and the GDPR in the European Union. Our experiments show that the parametric LM struggles on domains not covered by OLC. However, access to the datastore greatly improves out of domain performance, closing 90% of the performance gap with an LM trained on the Pile, a more diverse corpus with mostly high-risk text. We also analyze which nonparametric approach works best, where the remaining errors lie, and how performance scales with datastore size. Our results suggest that it is possible to build high quality language models while mitigating their legal risk.
Rising computational demands of modern natural language processing (NLP) systems have increased the barrier to entry for cutting-edge research while posing serious environmental concerns. Yet, progress on model efficiency has been impeded by practical challenges in model evaluation and comparison. For example, hardware is challenging to control due to disparate levels of accessibility across different institutions. Moreover, improvements in metrics such as FLOPs often fail to translate to progress in real-world applications. In response, we introduce Pentathlon, a benchmark for holistic and realistic evaluation of model efficiency. Pentathlon focuses on inference, which accounts for a majority of the compute in a model's lifecycle. It offers a strictly-controlled hardware platform, and is designed to mirror real-world applications scenarios. It incorporates a suite of metrics that target different aspects of efficiency, including latency, throughput, memory overhead, and energy consumption. Pentathlon also comes with a software library that can be seamlessly integrated into any codebase and enable evaluation. As a standardized and centralized evaluation platform, Pentathlon can drastically reduce the workload to make fair and reproducible efficiency comparisons. While initially focused on natural language processing (NLP) models, Pentathlon is designed to allow flexible extension to other fields. We envision Pentathlon will stimulate algorithmic innovations in building efficient models, and foster an increased awareness of the social and environmental implications in the development of future-generation NLP models.
In this work we explore recent advances in instruction-tuning language models on a range of open instruction-following datasets. Despite recent claims that open models can be on par with state-of-the-art proprietary models, these claims are often accompanied by limited evaluation, making it difficult to compare models across the board and determine the utility of various resources. We provide a large set of instruction-tuned models from 6.7B to 65B parameters in size, trained on 12 instruction datasets ranging from manually curated (e.g., OpenAssistant) to synthetic and distilled (e.g., Alpaca) and systematically evaluate them on their factual knowledge, reasoning, multilinguality, coding, and open-ended instruction following abilities through a collection of automatic, model-based, and human-based metrics. We further introduce T\"ulu, our best performing instruction-tuned model suite finetuned on a combination of high-quality open resources. Our experiments show that different instruction-tuning datasets can uncover or enhance specific skills, while no single dataset (or combination) provides the best performance across all evaluations. Interestingly, we find that model and human preference-based evaluations fail to reflect differences in model capabilities exposed by benchmark-based evaluations, suggesting the need for the type of systemic evaluation performed in this work. Our evaluations show that the best model in any given evaluation reaches on average 83% of ChatGPT performance, and 68% of GPT-4 performance, suggesting that further investment in building better base models and instruction-tuning data is required to close the gap. We release our instruction-tuned models, including a fully finetuned 65B T\"ulu, along with our code, data, and evaluation framework at https://github.com/allenai/open-instruct to facilitate future research.
Language models (LMs) often exhibit undesirable text generation behaviors, including generating false, toxic, or irrelevant outputs. Reinforcement learning from human feedback (RLHF) - where human preference judgments on LM outputs are transformed into a learning signal - has recently shown promise in addressing these issues. However, such holistic feedback conveys limited information on long text outputs; it does not indicate which aspects of the outputs influenced user preference; e.g., which parts contain what type(s) of errors. In this paper, we use fine-grained human feedback (e.g., which sentence is false, which sub-sentence is irrelevant) as an explicit training signal. We introduce Fine-Grained RLHF, a framework that enables training and learning from reward functions that are fine-grained in two respects: (1) density, providing a reward after every segment (e.g., a sentence) is generated; and (2) incorporating multiple reward models associated with different feedback types (e.g., factual incorrectness, irrelevance, and information incompleteness). We conduct experiments on detoxification and long-form question answering to illustrate how learning with such reward functions leads to improved performance, supported by both automatic and human evaluation. Additionally, we show that LM behaviors can be customized using different combinations of fine-grained reward models. We release all data, collected human feedback, and codes at https://FineGrainedRLHF.github.io.
Large-scale vision language (VL) models use Transformers to perform cross-modal interactions between the input text and image. These cross-modal interactions are computationally expensive and memory-intensive due to the quadratic complexity of processing the input image and text. We present PuMer: a token reduction framework that uses text-informed Pruning and modality-aware Merging strategies to progressively reduce the tokens of input image and text, improving model inference speed and reducing memory footprint. PuMer learns to keep salient image tokens related to the input text and merges similar textual and visual tokens by adding lightweight token reducer modules at several cross-modal layers in the VL model. Training PuMer is mostly the same as finetuning the original VL model but faster. Our evaluation for two vision language models on four downstream VL tasks shows PuMer increases inference throughput by up to 2x and reduces memory footprint by over 50% while incurring less than a 1% accuracy drop.
Despite remarkable advancements in few-shot generalization in natural language processing, most models are developed and evaluated primarily in English. To facilitate research on few-shot cross-lingual transfer, we introduce a new benchmark, called BUFFET, which unifies 15 diverse tasks across 54 languages in a sequence-to-sequence format and provides a fixed set of few-shot examples and instructions. BUFFET is designed to establish a rigorous and equitable evaluation framework for few-shot cross-lingual transfer across a broad range of tasks and languages. Using BUFFET, we perform thorough evaluations of state-of-the-art multilingual large language models with different transfer methods, namely in-context learning and fine-tuning. Our findings reveal significant room for improvement in few-shot in-context cross-lingual transfer. In particular, ChatGPT with in-context learning often performs worse than much smaller mT5-base models fine-tuned on English task data and few-shot in-language examples. Our analysis suggests various avenues for future research in few-shot cross-lingual transfer, such as improved pretraining, understanding, and future evaluations.
We present an accurate and interpretable method for answer extraction in machine reading comprehension that is reminiscent of case-based reasoning (CBR) from classical AI. Our method (CBR-MRC) builds on the hypothesis that contextualized answers to similar questions share semantic similarities with each other. Given a target question, CBR-MRC retrieves a set of similar questions from a memory of observed cases and predicts an answer by selecting the span in the target context that is most similar to the contextualized representations of answers in the retrieved cases. The semi-parametric nature of our approach allows CBR-MRC to attribute a prediction to the specific set of cases used during inference, making it a desirable choice for building reliable and debuggable QA systems. We show that CBR-MRC achieves high test accuracy comparable with large reader models, outperforming baselines by 11.5 and 8.4 EM on NaturalQuestions and NewsQA, respectively. Further, we also demonstrate the ability of CBR-MRC in identifying not just the correct answer tokens but also the span with the most relevant supporting evidence. Lastly, we observe that contexts for certain question types show higher lexical diversity than others and find CBR-MRC to be robust to these variations while performance using fully-parametric methods drops.
Evaluating the factuality of long-form text generated by large language models (LMs) is non-trivial because (1) generations often contain a mixture of supported and unsupported pieces of information, making binary judgments of quality inadequate, and (2) human evaluation is time-consuming and costly. In this paper, we introduce FActScore (Factual precision in Atomicity Score), a new evaluation that breaks a generation into a series of atomic facts and computes the percentage of atomic facts supported by a reliable knowledge source. We conduct an extensive human evaluation to obtain FActScores of people biographies generated by several state-of-the-art commercial LMs -- InstructGPT, ChatGPT, and the retrieval-augmented PerplexityAI -- and report new analysis demonstrating the need for such a fine-grained score (e.g., ChatGPT only achieves 58%). Since human evaluation is costly, we also introduce an automated model that estimates FActScore, using retrieval and a strong language model, with less than a 2% error rate. Finally, we use this automated metric to evaluate 6,500 generations from a new set of 13 recent LMs that would have cost $26K if evaluated by humans, with various findings: GPT-4 and ChatGPT are more factual than public models, and Vicuna and Alpaca are some of the best public models.
Recent work in NLP has shown promising results in training models on large amounts of tasks to achieve better generalization. However, it is not well-understood how tasks are related, and how helpful training tasks can be chosen for a new task. In this work, we investigate whether knowing task relationships via pairwise task transfer improves choosing one or more source tasks that help to learn a new target task. We provide TaskWeb, a large-scale benchmark of pairwise task transfers for 22 NLP tasks using three different model types, sizes, and adaptation methods, spanning about 25,000 experiments. Then, we design a new method TaskShop based on our analysis of TaskWeb. TaskShop uses TaskWeb to estimate the benefit of using a source task for learning a new target, and to choose a subset of helpful training tasks for multi-task learning. Our method improves overall rankings and top-k precision of source tasks by 12% and 29%, respectively. We also use TaskShop to build smaller multi-task training sets that improve zero-shot performances across 11 different target tasks by at least 4.3%.
Neural information retrieval often adopts a retrieve-and-rerank framework: a bi-encoder network first retrieves K (e.g., 100) candidates that are then re-ranked using a more powerful cross-encoder model to rank the better candidates higher. The re-ranker generally produces better candidate scores than the retriever, but is limited to seeing only the top K retrieved candidates, thus providing no improvements in retrieval performance as measured by Recall@K. In this work, we leverage the re-ranker to also improve retrieval by providing inference-time relevance feedback to the retriever. Concretely, we update the retriever's query representation for a test instance using a lightweight inference-time distillation of the re-ranker's prediction for that instance. The distillation loss is designed to bring the retriever's candidate scores closer to those of the re-ranker. A second retrieval step is then performed with the updated query vector. We empirically show that our approach, which can serve arbitrary retrieve-and-rerank pipelines, significantly improves retrieval recall in multiple domains, languages, and modalities.