The interactive nature of Large Language Models (LLMs) theoretically allows models to refine and improve their answers, yet systematic analysis of the multi-turn behavior of LLMs remains limited. In this paper, we propose the FlipFlop experiment: in the first round of the conversation, an LLM responds to a prompt containing a classification task. In a second round, the LLM is challenged with a follow-up phrase like "Are you sure?", offering an opportunity for the model to reflect on its initial answer, and decide whether to confirm or flip its answer. A systematic study of nine LLMs on seven classification tasks reveals that models flip their answers on average 46% of the time and that all models see a deterioration of accuracy between their first and final prediction, with an average drop of 17%. The FlipFlop experiment illustrates the universality of sycophantic behavior in LLMs and provides a robust framework to analyze model behavior and evaluate potential solutions.
Making big purchases requires consumers to research or consult a salesperson to gain domain expertise. However, existing conversational recommender systems (CRS) often overlook users' lack of background knowledge, focusing solely on gathering preferences. In this work, we define a new problem space for conversational agents that aim to provide both product recommendations and educational value through mixed-type mixed-initiative dialog. We introduce SalesOps, a framework that facilitates the simulation and evaluation of such systems by leveraging recent advancements in large language models (LLMs). We build SalesBot and ShopperBot, a pair of LLM-powered agents that can simulate either side of the framework. A comprehensive human study compares SalesBot against professional salespeople, revealing that although SalesBot approaches professional performance in terms of fluency and informativeness, it lags behind in recommendation quality. We emphasize the distinct limitations both face in providing truthful information, highlighting the challenges of ensuring faithfulness in the CRS context. We release our code and make all data available.
In this tutorial, we focus on text-to-text generation, a class of natural language generation (NLG) tasks, that takes a piece of text as input and then generates a revision that is improved according to some specific criteria (e.g., readability or linguistic styles), while largely retaining the original meaning and the length of the text. This includes many useful applications, such as text simplification, paraphrase generation, style transfer, etc. In contrast to text summarization and open-ended text completion (e.g., story), the text-to-text generation tasks we discuss in this tutorial are more constrained in terms of semantic consistency and targeted language styles. This level of control makes these tasks ideal testbeds for studying the ability of models to generate text that is both semantically adequate and stylistically appropriate. Moreover, these tasks are interesting from a technical standpoint, as they require complex combinations of lexical and syntactical transformations, stylistic control, and adherence to factual knowledge, -- all at once. With a special focus on text simplification and revision, this tutorial aims to provide an overview of the state-of-the-art natural language generation research from four major aspects -- Data, Models, Human-AI Collaboration, and Evaluation -- and to discuss and showcase a few significant and recent advances: (1) the use of non-retrogressive approaches; (2) the shift from fine-tuning to prompting with large language models; (3) the development of new learnable metric and fine-grained human evaluation framework; (4) a growing body of studies and datasets on non-English languages; (5) the rise of HCI+NLP+Accessibility interdisciplinary research to create real-world writing assistant systems.
Conversational interfaces powered by Large Language Models (LLMs) have recently become a popular way to obtain feedback during document editing. However, standard chat-based conversational interfaces do not support transparency and verifiability of the editing changes that they suggest. To give the author more agency when editing with an LLM, we present InkSync, an editing interface that suggests executable edits directly within the document being edited. Because LLMs are known to introduce factual errors, Inksync also supports a 3-stage approach to mitigate this risk: Warn authors when a suggested edit introduces new information, help authors Verify the new information's accuracy through external search, and allow an auditor to perform an a-posteriori verification by Auditing the document via a trace of all auto-generated content. Two usability studies confirm the effectiveness of InkSync's components when compared to standard LLM-based chat interfaces, leading to more accurate, more efficient editing, and improved user experience.
Researchers have argued that large language models (LLMs) exhibit high-quality writing capabilities from blogs to stories. However, evaluating objectively the creativity of a piece of writing is challenging. Inspired by the Torrance Test of Creative Thinking (TTCT), which measures creativity as a process, we use the Consensual Assessment Technique  and propose the Torrance Test of Creative Writing (TTCW) to evaluate creativity as a product. TTCW consists of 14 binary tests organized into the original dimensions of Fluency, Flexibility, Originality, and Elaboration. We recruit 10 creative writers and implement a human assessment of 48 stories written either by professional authors or LLMs using TTCW. Our analysis shows that LLM-generated stories pass 3-10X less TTCW tests than stories written by professionals. In addition, we explore the use of LLMs as assessors to automate the TTCW evaluation, revealing that none of the LLMs positively correlate with the expert assessments.
Previous research in multi-document news summarization has typically concentrated on collating information that all sources agree upon. However, to our knowledge, the summarization of diverse information dispersed across multiple articles about an event has not been previously investigated. The latter imposes a different set of challenges for a summarization model. In this paper, we propose a new task of summarizing diverse information encountered in multiple news articles encompassing the same event. To facilitate this task, we outlined a data collection schema for identifying diverse information and curated a dataset named DiverseSumm. The dataset includes 245 news stories, with each story comprising 10 news articles and paired with a human-validated reference. Moreover, we conducted a comprehensive analysis to pinpoint the position and verbosity biases when utilizing Large Language Model (LLM)-based metrics for evaluating the coverage and faithfulness of the summaries, as well as their correlation with human assessments. We applied our findings to study how LLMs summarize multiple news articles by analyzing which type of diverse information LLMs are capable of identifying. Our analyses suggest that despite the extraordinary capabilities of LLMs in single-document summarization, the proposed task remains a complex challenge for them mainly due to their limited coverage, with GPT-4 only able to cover less than 40% of the diverse information on average.
Large Language Models (LLMs) have become ubiquitous across various domains, transforming the way we interact with information and conduct research. However, most high-performing LLMs remain confined behind proprietary walls, hindering scientific progress. Most open-source LLMs, on the other hand, are limited in their ability to support longer sequence lengths, which is a key requirement for many tasks that require inference over an input context. To address this, we have trained XGen, a series of 7B parameter models on up to 8K sequence length for up to 1.5T tokens. We have also finetuned the XGen models on public-domain instructional data, creating their instruction-tuned counterparts (XGen-Inst). We open-source our models for both research advancements and commercial applications. Our evaluation on standard benchmarks shows that XGen models achieve comparable or better results when compared with state-of-the-art open-source LLMs. Our targeted evaluation on long sequence modeling tasks shows the benefits of our 8K-sequence models over 2K-sequence open-source LLMs.
Through iterative, cross-disciplinary discussions, we define and propose next-steps for Human-centered Generative AI (HGAI) from a technical perspective. We contribute a roadmap that lays out future directions of Generative AI spanning three levels: Aligning with human values; Accommodating humans' expression of intents; and Augmenting humans' abilities in a collaborative workflow. This roadmap intends to draw interdisciplinary research teams to a comprehensive list of emergent ideas in HGAI, identifying their interested topics while maintaining a coherent big picture of the future work landscape.
Large language models (LLMs) have shown impressive performance in following natural language instructions to solve unseen tasks. However, it remains unclear whether models truly understand task definitions and whether the human-written definitions are optimal. In this paper, we systematically study the role of task definitions in instruction learning. We first conduct an ablation analysis informed by human annotations to understand which parts of a task definition are most important, and find that model performance only drops substantially when removing contents describing the task output, in particular label information. Next, we propose an automatic algorithm to compress task definitions to a minimal supporting set of tokens, and find that 60\% of tokens can be removed while maintaining or even improving model performance. Based on these results, we propose two strategies to help models better leverage task instructions: (1) providing only key information for tasks in a common structured format, and (2) adding a meta-tuning stage to help the model better understand the definitions. With these two strategies, we achieve a 4.2 Rouge-L improvement over 119 unseen test tasks.
Text simplification research has mostly focused on sentence-level simplification, even though many desirable edits - such as adding relevant background information or reordering content - may require document-level context. Prior work has also predominantly framed simplification as a single-step, input-to-output task, only implicitly modeling the fine-grained, span-level edits that elucidate the simplification process. To address both gaps, we introduce the SWiPE dataset, which reconstructs the document-level editing process from English Wikipedia (EW) articles to paired Simple Wikipedia (SEW) articles. In contrast to prior work, SWiPE leverages the entire revision history when pairing pages in order to better identify simplification edits. We work with Wikipedia editors to annotate 5,000 EW-SEW document pairs, labeling more than 40,000 edits with proposed 19 categories. To scale our efforts, we propose several models to automatically label edits, achieving an F-1 score of up to 70.6, indicating that this is a tractable but challenging NLU task. Finally, we categorize the edits produced by several simplification models and find that SWiPE-trained models generate more complex edits while reducing unwanted edits.