Listwise rerankers based on large language models (LLM) are the zero-shot state-of-the-art. However, current works in this direction all depend on the GPT models, making it a single point of failure in scientific reproducibility. Moreover, it raises the concern that the current research findings only hold for GPT models but not LLM in general. In this work, we lift this pre-condition and build for the first time effective listwise rerankers without any form of dependency on GPT. Our passage retrieval experiments show that our best list se reranker surpasses the listwise rerankers based on GPT-3.5 by 13% and achieves 97% effectiveness of the ones built on GPT-4. Our results also show that the existing training datasets, which were expressly constructed for pointwise ranking, are insufficient for building such listwise rerankers. Instead, high-quality listwise ranking data is required and crucial, calling for further work on building human-annotated listwise data resources.
Considerable effort has been dedicated to mitigating toxicity, but existing methods often require drastic modifications to model parameters or the use of computationally intensive auxiliary models. Furthermore, previous approaches have often neglected the crucial factor of language's evolving nature over time. In this work, we present a comprehensive perspective on toxicity mitigation that takes into account its changing nature. We introduce Goodtriever, a flexible methodology that matches the current state-of-the-art toxicity mitigation while achieving 43% relative latency reduction during inference and being more computationally efficient. By incorporating a retrieval-based approach at decoding time, Goodtriever enables toxicity-controlled text generation. Our research advocates for an increased focus on adaptable mitigation techniques, which better reflect the data drift models face when deployed in the wild. Code and data are available at https://github.com/for-ai/goodtriever.
Perception of toxicity evolves over time and often differs between geographies and cultural backgrounds. Similarly, black-box commercially available APIs for detecting toxicity, such as the Perspective API, are not static, but frequently retrained to address any unattended weaknesses and biases. We evaluate the implications of these changes on the reproducibility of findings that compare the relative merits of models and methods that aim to curb toxicity. Our findings suggest that research that relied on inherited automatic toxicity scores to compare models and techniques may have resulted in inaccurate findings. Rescoring all models from HELM, a widely respected living benchmark, for toxicity with the recent version of the API led to a different ranking of widely used foundation models. We suggest caution in applying apples-to-apples comparisons between studies and lay recommendations for a more structured approach to evaluating toxicity over time. Code and data are available at https://github.com/for-ai/black-box-api-challenges.
Prior work has shown that it is possible to expand pretrained Masked Language Models (MLMs) to new languages by learning a new set of embeddings, while keeping the transformer body frozen. Despite learning a small subset of parameters, this approach is not compute-efficient, as training the new embeddings requires a full forward and backward pass over the entire model. In this work, we propose mini-model adaptation, a compute-efficient alternative that builds a shallow mini-model from a fraction of a large model's parameters. New language-specific embeddings can then be efficiently trained over the mini-model, and plugged into the aligned large model for rapid cross-lingual transfer. We explore two approaches to learn mini-models: MiniJoint, which jointly pretrains the primary model and the mini-model using a single transformer with a secondary MLM head at a middle layer; and MiniPost, where we start from a regular pretrained model and build a mini-model by extracting and freezing a few layers and learning a small number of parameters on top. Experiments on XNLI, MLQA and PAWS-X show that mini-model adaptation matches the performance of the standard approach using up to 2.4x less compute.
We study the problem of retrieval with instructions, where users of a retrieval system explicitly describe their intent along with their queries, making the system task-aware. We aim to develop a general-purpose task-aware retrieval systems using multi-task instruction tuning that can follow human-written instructions to find the best documents for a given query. To this end, we introduce the first large-scale collection of approximately 40 retrieval datasets with instructions, and present TART, a multi-task retrieval system trained on the diverse retrieval tasks with instructions. TART shows strong capabilities to adapt to a new task via instructions and advances the state of the art on two zero-shot retrieval benchmarks, BEIR and LOTTE, outperforming models up to three times larger. We further introduce a new evaluation setup to better reflect real-world scenarios, pooling diverse documents and tasks. In this setup, TART significantly outperforms competitive baselines, further demonstrating the effectiveness of guiding retrieval with instructions.
Evaluation of text generation to date has primarily focused on content created sequentially, rather than improvements on a piece of text. Writing, however, is naturally an iterative and incremental process that requires expertise in different modular skills such as fixing outdated information or making the style more consistent. Even so, comprehensive evaluation of a model's capacity to perform these skills and the ability to edit remains sparse. This work presents EditEval: An instruction-based, benchmark and evaluation suite that leverages high-quality existing and new datasets for automatic evaluation of editing capabilities such as making text more cohesive and paraphrasing. We evaluate several pre-trained models, which shows that InstructGPT and PEER perform the best, but that most baselines fall below the supervised SOTA, particularly when neutralizing and updating information. Our analysis also shows that commonly used metrics for editing tasks do not always correlate well, and that optimization for prompts with the highest performance does not necessarily entail the strongest robustness to different models. Through the release of this benchmark and a publicly available leaderboard challenge, we hope to unlock future research in developing models capable of iterative and more controllable editing.
Textual content is often the output of a collaborative writing process: We start with an initial draft, ask for suggestions, and repeatedly make changes. Agnostic of this process, today's language models are trained to generate only the final result. As a consequence, they lack several abilities crucial for collaborative writing: They are unable to update existing texts, difficult to control and incapable of verbally planning or explaining their actions. To address these shortcomings, we introduce PEER, a collaborative language model that is trained to imitate the entire writing process itself: PEER can write drafts, add suggestions, propose edits and provide explanations for its actions. Crucially, we train multiple instances of PEER able to infill various parts of the writing process, enabling the use of self-training techniques for increasing the quality, amount and diversity of training data. This unlocks PEER's full potential by making it applicable in domains for which no edit histories are available and improving its ability to follow instructions, to write useful comments, and to explain its actions. We show that PEER achieves strong performance across various domains and editing tasks.
Large language models have shown impressive few-shot results on a wide range of tasks. However, when knowledge is key for such results, as is the case for tasks such as question answering and fact checking, massive parameter counts to store knowledge seem to be needed. Retrieval augmented models are known to excel at knowledge intensive tasks without the need for as many parameters, but it is unclear whether they work in few-shot settings. In this work we present Atlas, a carefully designed and pre-trained retrieval augmented language model able to learn knowledge intensive tasks with very few training examples. We perform evaluations on a wide range of tasks, including MMLU, KILT and NaturalQuestions, and study the impact of the content of the document index, showing that it can easily be updated. Notably, Atlas reaches over 42% accuracy on Natural Questions using only 64 examples, outperforming a 540B parameters model by 3% despite having 50x fewer parameters.
Verifiability is a core content policy of Wikipedia: claims that are likely to be challenged need to be backed by citations. There are millions of articles available online and thousands of new articles are released each month. For this reason, finding relevant sources is a difficult task: many claims do not have any references that support them. Furthermore, even existing citations might not support a given claim or become obsolete once the original source is updated or deleted. Hence, maintaining and improving the quality of Wikipedia references is an important challenge and there is a pressing need for better tools to assist humans in this effort. Here, we show that the process of improving references can be tackled with the help of artificial intelligence (AI). We develop a neural network based system, called Side, to identify Wikipedia citations that are unlikely to support their claims, and subsequently recommend better ones from the web. We train this model on existing Wikipedia references, therefore learning from the contributions and combined wisdom of thousands of Wikipedia editors. Using crowd-sourcing, we observe that for the top 10% most likely citations to be tagged as unverifiable by our system, humans prefer our system's suggested alternatives compared to the originally cited reference 70% of the time. To validate the applicability of our system, we built a demo to engage with the English-speaking Wikipedia community and find that Side's first citation recommendation collects over 60% more preferences than existing Wikipedia citations for the same top 10% most likely unverifiable claims according to Side. Our results indicate that an AI-based system could be used, in tandem with humans, to improve the verifiability of Wikipedia. More generally, we hope that our work can be used to assist fact checking efforts and increase the general trustworthiness of information online.
Knowledge-intensive language tasks require NLP systems to both provide the correct answer and retrieve supporting evidence for it in a given corpus. Autoregressive language models are emerging as the de-facto standard for generating answers, with newer and more powerful systems emerging at an astonishing pace. In this paper we argue that all this (and future) progress can be directly applied to the retrieval problem with minimal intervention to the models' architecture. Previous work has explored ways to partition the search space into hierarchical structures and retrieve documents by autoregressively generating their unique identifier. In this work we propose an alternative that doesn't force any structure in the search space: using all ngrams in a passage as its possible identifiers. This setup allows us to use an autoregressive model to generate and score distinctive ngrams, that are then mapped to full passages through an efficient data structure. Empirically, we show this not only outperforms prior autoregressive approaches but also leads to an average improvement of at least 10 points over more established retrieval solutions for passage-level retrieval on the KILT benchmark, establishing new state-of-the-art downstream performance on some datasets, while using a considerably lighter memory footprint than competing systems. Code and pre-trained models at https://github.com/facebookresearch/SEAL.