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Jin Peng Zhou, Yuhuai Wu, Qiyang Li, Roger Grosse

Human mathematicians are often good at recognizing modular and reusable theorems that make complex mathematical results within reach. In this paper, we propose a novel method called theoREm-from-prooF extrACTOR (REFACTOR) for training neural networks to mimic this ability in formal mathematical theorem proving. We show on a set of unseen proofs, REFACTOR is able to extract 19.6% of the theorems that humans would use to write the proofs. When applying the model to the existing Metamath library, REFACTOR extracted 16 new theorems. With newly extracted theorems, we show that the existing proofs in the MetaMath database can be refactored. The new theorems are used very frequently after refactoring, with an average usage of 733.5 times, and help shorten the proof lengths. Lastly, we demonstrate that the prover trained on the new-theorem refactored dataset proves more test theorems and outperforms state-of-the-art baselines by frequently leveraging a diverse set of newly extracted theorems. Code can be found at https://github.com/jinpz/refactor.

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Evan Hubinger, Carson Denison, Jesse Mu, Mike Lambert, Meg Tong, Monte MacDiarmid, Tamera Lanham, Daniel M. Ziegler, Tim Maxwell, Newton Cheng, Adam Jermyn, Amanda Askell, Ansh Radhakrishnan, Cem Anil, David Duvenaud, Deep Ganguli, Fazl Barez, Jack Clark, Kamal Ndousse, Kshitij Sachan, Michael Sellitto, Mrinank Sharma, Nova DasSarma, Roger Grosse, Shauna Kravec, Yuntao Bai, Zachary Witten, Marina Favaro, Jan Brauner, Holden Karnofsky, Paul Christiano, Samuel R. Bowman, Logan Graham, Jared Kaplan, Sören Mindermann, Ryan Greenblatt, Buck Shlegeris, Nicholas Schiefer, Ethan Perez

Humans are capable of strategically deceptive behavior: behaving helpfully in most situations, but then behaving very differently in order to pursue alternative objectives when given the opportunity. If an AI system learned such a deceptive strategy, could we detect it and remove it using current state-of-the-art safety training techniques? To study this question, we construct proof-of-concept examples of deceptive behavior in large language models (LLMs). For example, we train models that write secure code when the prompt states that the year is 2023, but insert exploitable code when the stated year is 2024. We find that such backdoor behavior can be made persistent, so that it is not removed by standard safety training techniques, including supervised fine-tuning, reinforcement learning, and adversarial training (eliciting unsafe behavior and then training to remove it). The backdoor behavior is most persistent in the largest models and in models trained to produce chain-of-thought reasoning about deceiving the training process, with the persistence remaining even when the chain-of-thought is distilled away. Furthermore, rather than removing backdoors, we find that adversarial training can teach models to better recognize their backdoor triggers, effectively hiding the unsafe behavior. Our results suggest that, once a model exhibits deceptive behavior, standard techniques could fail to remove such deception and create a false impression of safety.

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Roger Grosse, Juhan Bae, Cem Anil, Nelson Elhage, Alex Tamkin, Amirhossein Tajdini, Benoit Steiner, Dustin Li, Esin Durmus, Ethan Perez, Evan Hubinger, Kamilė Lukošiūtė, Karina Nguyen, Nicholas Joseph, Sam McCandlish, Jared Kaplan, Samuel R. Bowman

When trying to gain better visibility into a machine learning model in order to understand and mitigate the associated risks, a potentially valuable source of evidence is: which training examples most contribute to a given behavior? Influence functions aim to answer a counterfactual: how would the model's parameters (and hence its outputs) change if a given sequence were added to the training set? While influence functions have produced insights for small models, they are difficult to scale to large language models (LLMs) due to the difficulty of computing an inverse-Hessian-vector product (IHVP). We use the Eigenvalue-corrected Kronecker-Factored Approximate Curvature (EK-FAC) approximation to scale influence functions up to LLMs with up to 52 billion parameters. In our experiments, EK-FAC achieves similar accuracy to traditional influence function estimators despite the IHVP computation being orders of magnitude faster. We investigate two algorithmic techniques to reduce the cost of computing gradients of candidate training sequences: TF-IDF filtering and query batching. We use influence functions to investigate the generalization patterns of LLMs, including the sparsity of the influence patterns, increasing abstraction with scale, math and programming abilities, cross-lingual generalization, and role-playing behavior. Despite many apparently sophisticated forms of generalization, we identify a surprising limitation: influences decay to near-zero when the order of key phrases is flipped. Overall, influence functions give us a powerful new tool for studying the generalization properties of LLMs.

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Rob Brekelmans, Sicong Huang, Marzyeh Ghassemi, Greg Ver Steeg, Roger Grosse, Alireza Makhzani

Mutual information (MI) is a fundamental quantity in information theory and machine learning. However, direct estimation of MI is intractable, even if the true joint probability density for the variables of interest is known, as it involves estimating a potentially high-dimensional log partition function. In this work, we present a unifying view of existing MI bounds from the perspective of importance sampling, and propose three novel bounds based on this approach. Since accurate estimation of MI without density information requires a sample size exponential in the true MI, we assume either a single marginal or the full joint density information is known. In settings where the full joint density is available, we propose Multi-Sample Annealed Importance Sampling (AIS) bounds on MI, which we demonstrate can tightly estimate large values of MI in our experiments. In settings where only a single marginal distribution is known, we propose Generalized IWAE (GIWAE) and MINE-AIS bounds. Our GIWAE bound unifies variational and contrastive bounds in a single framework that generalizes InfoNCE, IWAE, and Barber-Agakov bounds. Our MINE-AIS method improves upon existing energy-based methods such as MINE-DV and MINE-F by directly optimizing a tighter lower bound on MI. MINE-AIS uses MCMC sampling to estimate gradients for training and Multi-Sample AIS for evaluating the bound. Our methods are particularly suitable for evaluating MI in deep generative models, since explicit forms of the marginal or joint densities are often available. We evaluate our bounds on estimating the MI of VAEs and GANs trained on the MNIST and CIFAR datasets, and showcase significant gains over existing bounds in these challenging settings with high ground truth MI.

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Nikita Dhawan, Sicong Huang, Juhan Bae, Roger Grosse

It is often useful to compactly summarize important properties of model parameters and training data so that they can be used later without storing and/or iterating over the entire dataset. As a specific case, we consider estimating the Function Space Distance (FSD) over a training set, i.e. the average discrepancy between the outputs of two neural networks. We propose a Linearized Activation Function TRick (LAFTR) and derive an efficient approximation to FSD for ReLU neural networks. The key idea is to approximate the architecture as a linear network with stochastic gating. Despite requiring only one parameter per unit of the network, our approach outcompetes other parametric approximations with larger memory requirements. Applied to continual learning, our parametric approximation is competitive with state-of-the-art nonparametric approximations, which require storing many training examples. Furthermore, we show its efficacy in estimating influence functions accurately and detecting mislabeled examples without expensive iterations over the entire dataset.

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Paul Vicol, Jonathan Lorraine, Fabian Pedregosa, David Duvenaud, Roger Grosse

Many problems in machine learning involve bilevel optimization (BLO), including hyperparameter optimization, meta-learning, and dataset distillation. Bilevel problems consist of two nested sub-problems, called the outer and inner problems, respectively. In practice, often at least one of these sub-problems is overparameterized. In this case, there are many ways to choose among optima that achieve equivalent objective values. Inspired by recent studies of the implicit bias induced by optimization algorithms in single-level optimization, we investigate the implicit bias of gradient-based algorithms for bilevel optimization. We delineate two standard BLO methods -- cold-start and warm-start -- and show that the converged solution or long-run behavior depends to a large degree on these and other algorithmic choices, such as the hypergradient approximation. We also show that the inner solutions obtained by warm-start BLO can encode a surprising amount of information about the outer objective, even when the outer parameters are low-dimensional. We believe that implicit bias deserves as central a role in the study of bilevel optimization as it has attained in the study of single-level neural net optimization.

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Ethan Perez, Sam Ringer, Kamilė Lukošiūtė, Karina Nguyen, Edwin Chen, Scott Heiner, Craig Pettit, Catherine Olsson, Sandipan Kundu, Saurav Kadavath, Andy Jones, Anna Chen, Ben Mann, Brian Israel, Bryan Seethor, Cameron McKinnon, Christopher Olah, Da Yan, Daniela Amodei, Dario Amodei, Dawn Drain, Dustin Li, Eli Tran-Johnson, Guro Khundadze, Jackson Kernion, James Landis, Jamie Kerr, Jared Mueller, Jeeyoon Hyun, Joshua Landau, Kamal Ndousse, Landon Goldberg, Liane Lovitt, Martin Lucas, Michael Sellitto, Miranda Zhang, Neerav Kingsland, Nelson Elhage, Nicholas Joseph, Noemí Mercado, Nova DasSarma, Oliver Rausch, Robin Larson, Sam McCandlish, Scott Johnston, Shauna Kravec, Sheer El Showk, Tamera Lanham, Timothy Telleen-Lawton, Tom Brown, Tom Henighan, Tristan Hume, Yuntao Bai, Zac Hatfield-Dodds, Jack Clark, Samuel R. Bowman, Amanda Askell, Roger Grosse, Danny Hernandez, Deep Ganguli, Evan Hubinger, Nicholas Schiefer, Jared Kaplan

As language models (LMs) scale, they develop many novel behaviors, good and bad, exacerbating the need to evaluate how they behave. Prior work creates evaluations with crowdwork (which is time-consuming and expensive) or existing data sources (which are not always available). Here, we automatically generate evaluations with LMs. We explore approaches with varying amounts of human effort, from instructing LMs to write yes/no questions to making complex Winogender schemas with multiple stages of LM-based generation and filtering. Crowdworkers rate the examples as highly relevant and agree with 90-100% of labels, sometimes more so than corresponding human-written datasets. We generate 154 datasets and discover new cases of inverse scaling where LMs get worse with size. Larger LMs repeat back a dialog user's preferred answer ("sycophancy") and express greater desire to pursue concerning goals like resource acquisition and goal preservation. We also find some of the first examples of inverse scaling in RL from Human Feedback (RLHF), where more RLHF makes LMs worse. For example, RLHF makes LMs express stronger political views (on gun rights and immigration) and a greater desire to avoid shut down. Overall, LM-written evaluations are high-quality and let us quickly discover many novel LM behaviors.

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Juhan Bae, Michael R. Zhang, Michael Ruan, Eric Wang, So Hasegawa, Jimmy Ba, Roger Grosse

Variational autoencoders (VAEs) are powerful tools for learning latent representations of data used in a wide range of applications. In practice, VAEs usually require multiple training rounds to choose the amount of information the latent variable should retain. This trade-off between the reconstruction error (distortion) and the KL divergence (rate) is typically parameterized by a hyperparameter $\beta$. In this paper, we introduce Multi-Rate VAE (MR-VAE), a computationally efficient framework for learning optimal parameters corresponding to various $\beta$ in a single training run. The key idea is to explicitly formulate a response function that maps $\beta$ to the optimal parameters using hypernetworks. MR-VAEs construct a compact response hypernetwork where the pre-activations are conditionally gated based on $\beta$. We justify the proposed architecture by analyzing linear VAEs and showing that it can represent response functions exactly for linear VAEs. With the learned hypernetwork, MR-VAEs can construct the rate-distortion curve without additional training and can be deployed with significantly less hyperparameter tuning. Empirically, our approach is competitive and often exceeds the performance of multiple $\beta$-VAEs training with minimal computation and memory overheads.

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Caspar Oesterheld, Johannes Treutlein, Roger Grosse, Vincent Conitzer, Jakob Foerster

As machine learning agents act more autonomously in the world, they will increasingly interact with each other. Unfortunately, in many social dilemmas like the one-shot Prisoner's Dilemma, standard game theory predicts that ML agents will fail to cooperate with each other. Prior work has shown that one way to enable cooperative outcomes in the one-shot Prisoner's Dilemma is to make the agents mutually transparent to each other, i.e., to allow them to access one another's source code (Rubinstein 1998, Tennenholtz 2004) -- or weights in the case of ML agents. However, full transparency is often unrealistic, whereas partial transparency is commonplace. Moreover, it is challenging for agents to learn their way to cooperation in the full transparency setting. In this paper, we introduce a more realistic setting in which agents only observe a single number indicating how similar they are to each other. We prove that this allows for the same set of cooperative outcomes as the full transparency setting. We also demonstrate experimentally that cooperation can be learned using simple ML methods.

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