In recent years, large language models have greatly improved in their ability to perform complex multi-step reasoning. However, even state-of-the-art models still regularly produce logical mistakes. To train more reliable models, we can turn either to outcome supervision, which provides feedback for a final result, or process supervision, which provides feedback for each intermediate reasoning step. Given the importance of training reliable models, and given the high cost of human feedback, it is important to carefully compare the both methods. Recent work has already begun this comparison, but many questions still remain. We conduct our own investigation, finding that process supervision significantly outperforms outcome supervision for training models to solve problems from the challenging MATH dataset. Our process-supervised model solves 78% of problems from a representative subset of the MATH test set. Additionally, we show that active learning significantly improves the efficacy of process supervision. To support related research, we also release PRM800K, the complete dataset of 800,000 step-level human feedback labels used to train our best reward model.
Recent work has shown that, in generative modeling, cross-entropy loss improves smoothly with model size and training compute, following a power law plus constant scaling law. One challenge in extending these results to reinforcement learning is that the main performance objective of interest, mean episode return, need not vary smoothly. To overcome this, we introduce *intrinsic performance*, a monotonic function of the return defined as the minimum compute required to achieve the given return across a family of models of different sizes. We find that, across a range of environments, intrinsic performance scales as a power law in model size and environment interactions. Consequently, as in generative modeling, the optimal model size scales as a power law in the training compute budget. Furthermore, we study how this relationship varies with the environment and with other properties of the training setup. In particular, using a toy MNIST-based environment, we show that varying the "horizon length" of the task mostly changes the coefficient but not the exponent of this relationship.
In reinforcement learning from human feedback, it is common to optimize against a reward model trained to predict human preferences. Because the reward model is an imperfect proxy, optimizing its value too much can hinder ground truth performance, in accordance with Goodhart's law. This effect has been frequently observed, but not carefully measured due to the expense of collecting human preference data. In this work, we use a synthetic setup in which a fixed "gold-standard" reward model plays the role of humans, providing labels used to train a proxy reward model. We study how the gold reward model score changes as we optimize against the proxy reward model using either reinforcement learning or best-of-$n$ sampling. We find that this relationship follows a different functional form depending on the method of optimization, and that in both cases its coefficients scale smoothly with the number of reward model parameters. We also study the effect on this relationship of the size of the reward model dataset, the number of reward model and policy parameters, and the coefficient of the KL penalty added to the reward in the reinforcement learning setup. We explore the implications of these empirical results for theoretical considerations in AI alignment.
We show that autoregressive language models can learn to infill text after we apply a straightforward transformation to the dataset, which simply moves a span of text from the middle of a document to its end. While this data augmentation has garnered much interest in recent years, we provide extensive evidence that training models with a large fraction of data transformed in this way does not harm the original left-to-right generative capability, as measured by perplexity and sampling evaluations across a wide range of scales. Given the usefulness, simplicity, and efficiency of training models to fill-in-the-middle (FIM), we suggest that future autoregressive language models be trained with FIM by default. To this end, we run a series of ablations on key hyperparameters, such as the data transformation frequency, the structure of the transformation, and the method of selecting the infill span. We use these ablations to prescribe strong default settings and best practices to train FIM models. We have released our best infilling model trained with best practices in our API, and release our infilling benchmarks to aid future research.
Making language models bigger does not inherently make them better at following a user's intent. For example, large language models can generate outputs that are untruthful, toxic, or simply not helpful to the user. In other words, these models are not aligned with their users. In this paper, we show an avenue for aligning language models with user intent on a wide range of tasks by fine-tuning with human feedback. Starting with a set of labeler-written prompts and prompts submitted through the OpenAI API, we collect a dataset of labeler demonstrations of the desired model behavior, which we use to fine-tune GPT-3 using supervised learning. We then collect a dataset of rankings of model outputs, which we use to further fine-tune this supervised model using reinforcement learning from human feedback. We call the resulting models InstructGPT. In human evaluations on our prompt distribution, outputs from the 1.3B parameter InstructGPT model are preferred to outputs from the 175B GPT-3, despite having 100x fewer parameters. Moreover, InstructGPT models show improvements in truthfulness and reductions in toxic output generation while having minimal performance regressions on public NLP datasets. Even though InstructGPT still makes simple mistakes, our results show that fine-tuning with human feedback is a promising direction for aligning language models with human intent.
We fine-tune GPT-3 to answer long-form questions using a text-based web-browsing environment, which allows the model to search and navigate the web. By setting up the task so that it can be performed by humans, we are able to train models on the task using imitation learning, and then optimize answer quality with human feedback. To make human evaluation of factual accuracy easier, models must collect references while browsing in support of their answers. We train and evaluate our models on ELI5, a dataset of questions asked by Reddit users. Our best model is obtained by fine-tuning GPT-3 using behavior cloning, and then performing rejection sampling against a reward model trained to predict human preferences. This model's answers are preferred by humans 56% of the time to those of our human demonstrators, and 69% of the time to the highest-voted answer from Reddit.
State-of-the-art language models can match human performance on many tasks, but they still struggle to robustly perform multi-step mathematical reasoning. To diagnose the failures of current models and support research, we introduce GSM8K, a dataset of 8.5K high quality linguistically diverse grade school math word problems. We find that even the largest transformer models fail to achieve high test performance, despite the conceptual simplicity of this problem distribution. To increase performance, we propose training verifiers to judge the correctness of model completions. At test time, we generate many candidate solutions and select the one ranked highest by the verifier. We demonstrate that verification significantly improves performance on GSM8K, and we provide strong empirical evidence that verification scales more effectively with increased data than a finetuning baseline.
We say an algorithm is batch size-invariant if changes to the batch size can largely be compensated for by changes to other hyperparameters. Stochastic gradient descent is well-known to have this property at small batch sizes, via the learning rate. However, some policy optimization algorithms (such as PPO) do not have this property, because of how they control the size of policy updates. In this work we show how to make these algorithms batch size-invariant. Our key insight is to decouple the proximal policy (used for controlling policy updates) from the behavior policy (used for off-policy corrections). Our experiments help explain why these algorithms work, and additionally show how they can make more efficient use of stale data.
Machine learning (ML) systems are rapidly increasing in size, are acquiring new capabilities, and are increasingly deployed in high-stakes settings. As with other powerful technologies, safety for ML should be a leading research priority. In response to emerging safety challenges in ML, such as those introduced by recent large-scale models, we provide a new roadmap for ML Safety and refine the technical problems that the field needs to address. We present four problems ready for research, namely withstanding hazards ("Robustness"), identifying hazards ("Monitoring"), steering ML systems ("Alignment"), and reducing risks to how ML systems are handled ("External Safety"). Throughout, we clarify each problem's motivation and provide concrete research directions.