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.
Large pre-trained models are usually fine-tuned on downstream task data, and tested on unseen data. When the train and test data come from different domains, the model is likely to struggle, as it is not adapted to the test domain. We propose a new approach for domain adaptation (DA), using neuron-level interventions: We modify the representation of each test example in specific neurons, resulting in a counterfactual example from the source domain, which the model is more familiar with. The modified example is then fed back into the model. While most other DA methods are applied during training time, ours is applied during inference only, making it more efficient and applicable. Our experiments show that our method improves performance on unseen domains.
While many studies have shown that linguistic information is encoded in hidden word representations, few have studied individual neurons, to show how and in which neurons it is encoded. Among these, the common approach is to use an external probe to rank neurons according to their relevance to some linguistic attribute, and to evaluate the obtained ranking using the same probe that produced it. We show two pitfalls in this methodology: 1. It confounds distinct factors: probe quality and ranking quality. We separate them and draw conclusions on each. 2. It focuses on encoded information, rather than information that is used by the model. We show that these are not the same. We compare two recent ranking methods and a simple one we introduce, and evaluate them with regard to both of these aspects.