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Yuanzhi Li, Sébastien Bubeck, Ronen Eldan, Allie Del Giorno, Suriya Gunasekar, Yin Tat Lee

We continue the investigation into the power of smaller Transformer-based language models as initiated by \textbf{TinyStories} -- a 10 million parameter model that can produce coherent English -- and the follow-up work on \textbf{phi-1}, a 1.3 billion parameter model with Python coding performance close to the state-of-the-art. The latter work proposed to use existing Large Language Models (LLMs) to generate ``textbook quality" data as a way to enhance the learning process compared to traditional web data. We follow the ``Textbooks Are All You Need" approach, focusing this time on common sense reasoning in natural language, and create a new 1.3 billion parameter model named \textbf{phi-1.5}, with performance on natural language tasks comparable to models 5x larger, and surpassing most non-frontier LLMs on more complex reasoning tasks such as grade-school mathematics and basic coding. More generally, \textbf{phi-1.5} exhibits many of the traits of much larger LLMs, both good -- such as the ability to ``think step by step" or perform some rudimentary in-context learning -- and bad, including hallucinations and the potential for toxic and biased generations -- encouragingly though, we are seeing improvement on that front thanks to the absence of web data. We open-source \textbf{phi-1.5} to promote further research on these urgent topics.

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Suriya Gunasekar, Yi Zhang, Jyoti Aneja, Caio César Teodoro Mendes, Allie Del Giorno, Sivakanth Gopi, Mojan Javaheripi, Piero Kauffmann, Gustavo de Rosa, Olli Saarikivi, Adil Salim, Shital Shah, Harkirat Singh Behl, Xin Wang, Sébastien Bubeck, Ronen Eldan, Adam Tauman Kalai, Yin Tat Lee, Yuanzhi Li

We introduce phi-1, a new large language model for code, with significantly smaller size than competing models: phi-1 is a Transformer-based model with 1.3B parameters, trained for 4 days on 8 A100s, using a selection of ``textbook quality" data from the web (6B tokens) and synthetically generated textbooks and exercises with GPT-3.5 (1B tokens). Despite this small scale, phi-1 attains pass@1 accuracy 50.6% on HumanEval and 55.5% on MBPP. It also displays surprising emergent properties compared to phi-1-base, our model before our finetuning stage on a dataset of coding exercises, and phi-1-small, a smaller model with 350M parameters trained with the same pipeline as phi-1 that still achieves 45% on HumanEval.

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Ronen Eldan, Yuanzhi Li

Language models (LMs) are powerful tools for natural language processing, but they often struggle to produce coherent and fluent text when they are small. Models with around 125M parameters such as GPT-Neo (small) or GPT-2 (small) can rarely generate coherent and consistent English text beyond a few words even after extensive training. This raises the question of whether the emergence of the ability to produce coherent English text only occurs at larger scales (with hundreds of millions of parameters or more) and complex architectures (with many layers of global attention). In this work, we introduce TinyStories, a synthetic dataset of short stories that only contain words that a typical 3 to 4-year-olds usually understand, generated by GPT-3.5 and GPT-4. We show that TinyStories can be used to train and evaluate LMs that are much smaller than the state-of-the-art models (below 10 million total parameters), or have much simpler architectures (with only one transformer block), yet still produce fluent and consistent stories with several paragraphs that are diverse and have almost perfect grammar, and demonstrate reasoning capabilities. We also introduce a new paradigm for the evaluation of language models: We suggest a framework which uses GPT-4 to grade the content generated by these models as if those were stories written by students and graded by a (human) teacher. This new paradigm overcomes the flaws of standard benchmarks which often requires the model's output to be very structures, and moreover provides a multidimensional score for the model, providing scores for different capabilities such as grammar, creativity and consistency. We hope that TinyStories can facilitate the development, analysis and research of LMs, especially for low-resource or specialized domains, and shed light on the emergence of language capabilities in LMs.

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Sébastien Bubeck, Varun Chandrasekaran, Ronen Eldan, Johannes Gehrke, Eric Horvitz, Ece Kamar, Peter Lee, Yin Tat Lee, Yuanzhi Li, Scott Lundberg, Harsha Nori, Hamid Palangi, Marco Tulio Ribeiro, Yi Zhang

Artificial intelligence (AI) researchers have been developing and refining large language models (LLMs) that exhibit remarkable capabilities across a variety of domains and tasks, challenging our understanding of learning and cognition. The latest model developed by OpenAI, GPT-4, was trained using an unprecedented scale of compute and data. In this paper, we report on our investigation of an early version of GPT-4, when it was still in active development by OpenAI. We contend that (this early version of) GPT-4 is part of a new cohort of LLMs (along with ChatGPT and Google's PaLM for example) that exhibit more general intelligence than previous AI models. We discuss the rising capabilities and implications of these models. We demonstrate that, beyond its mastery of language, GPT-4 can solve novel and difficult tasks that span mathematics, coding, vision, medicine, law, psychology and more, without needing any special prompting. Moreover, in all of these tasks, GPT-4's performance is strikingly close to human-level performance, and often vastly surpasses prior models such as ChatGPT. Given the breadth and depth of GPT-4's capabilities, we believe that it could reasonably be viewed as an early (yet still incomplete) version of an artificial general intelligence (AGI) system. In our exploration of GPT-4, we put special emphasis on discovering its limitations, and we discuss the challenges ahead for advancing towards deeper and more comprehensive versions of AGI, including the possible need for pursuing a new paradigm that moves beyond next-word prediction. We conclude with reflections on societal influences of the recent technological leap and future research directions.

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Yi Zhang, Arturs Backurs, Sébastien Bubeck, Ronen Eldan, Suriya Gunasekar, Tal Wagner

We propose a synthetic task, LEGO (Learning Equality and Group Operations), that encapsulates the problem of following a chain of reasoning, and we study how the transformer architecture learns this task. We pay special attention to data effects such as pretraining (on seemingly unrelated NLP tasks) and dataset composition (e.g., differing chain length at training and test time), as well as architectural variants such as weight-tied layers or adding convolutional components. We study how the trained models eventually succeed at the task, and in particular, we are able to understand (to some extent) some of the attention heads as well as how the information flows in the network. Based on these observations we propose a hypothesis that here pretraining helps merely due to being a smart initialization rather than some deep knowledge stored in the network. We also observe that in some data regime the trained transformer finds "shortcut" solutions to follow the chain of reasoning, which impedes the model's ability to generalize to simple variants of the main task, and moreover we find that one can prevent such shortcut with appropriate architecture modification or careful data preparation. Motivated by our findings, we begin to explore the task of learning to execute C programs, where a convolutional modification to transformers, namely adding convolutional structures in the key/query/value maps, shows an encouraging edge.

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Ronen Eldan, Dan Mikulincer, Tselil Schramm

We study the extent to which wide neural networks may be approximated by Gaussian processes when initialized with random weights. It is a well-established fact that as the width of a network goes to infinity, its law converges to that of a Gaussian process. We make this quantitative by establishing explicit convergence rates for the central limit theorem in an infinite-dimensional functional space, metrized with a natural transportation distance. We identify two regimes of interest; when the activation function is polynomial, its degree determines the rate of convergence, while for non-polynomial activations, the rate is governed by the smoothness of the function.

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Ronen Eldan, Dan Mikulincer, Hester Pieters

We make the first steps towards generalizing the theory of stochastic block models, in the sparse regime, towards a model where the discrete community structure is replaced by an underlying geometry. We consider a geometric random graph over a homogeneous metric space where the probability of two vertices to be connected is an arbitrary function of the distance. We give sufficient conditions under which the locations can be recovered (up to an isomorphism of the space) in the sparse regime. Moreover, we define a geometric counterpart of the model of flow of information on trees, due to Mossel and Peres, in which one considers a branching random walk on a sphere and the goal is to recover the location of the root based on the locations of leaves. We give some sufficient conditions for percolation and for non-percolation of information in this model.

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Sébastien Bubeck, Ronen Eldan, Yin Tat Lee, Dan Mikulincer

In 1988, Eric B. Baum showed that two-layers neural networks with threshold activation function can perfectly memorize the binary labels of $n$ points in general position in $\mathbb{R}^d$ using only $\ulcorner n/d \urcorner$ neurons. We observe that with ReLU networks, using four times as many neurons one can fit arbitrary real labels. Moreover, for approximate memorization up to error $\epsilon$, the neural tangent kernel can also memorize with only $O\left(\frac{n}{d} \cdot \log(1/\epsilon) \right)$ neurons (assuming that the data is well dispersed too). We show however that these constructions give rise to networks where the magnitude of the neurons' weights are far from optimal. In contrast we propose a new training procedure for ReLU networks, based on complex (as opposed to real) recombination of the neurons, for which we show approximate memorization with both $O\left(\frac{n}{d} \cdot \frac{\log(1/\epsilon)}{\epsilon}\right)$ neurons, as well as nearly-optimal size of the weights.

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