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Yoshua Bengio, Geoffrey Hinton, Andrew Yao, Dawn Song, Pieter Abbeel, Yuval Noah Harari, Ya-Qin Zhang, Lan Xue, Shai Shalev-Shwartz, Gillian Hadfield, Jeff Clune, Tegan Maharaj, Frank Hutter, Atılım Güneş Baydin, Sheila McIlraith, Qiqi Gao, Ashwin Acharya, David Krueger, Anca Dragan, Philip Torr, Stuart Russell, Daniel Kahneman, Jan Brauner, Sören Mindermann

In this short consensus paper, we outline risks from upcoming, advanced AI systems. We examine large-scale social harms and malicious uses, as well as an irreversible loss of human control over autonomous AI systems. In light of rapid and continuing AI progress, we propose priorities for AI R&D and governance.

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Gal Kaplun, Andrey Gurevich, Tal Swisa, Mazor David, Shai Shalev-Shwartz, Eran Malach

Finetuning a pretrained model has become a standard approach for training neural networks on novel tasks, resulting in fast convergence and improved performance. In this work, we study an alternative finetuning method, where instead of finetuning all the weights of the network, we only train a carefully chosen subset of layers, keeping the rest of the weights frozen at their initial (pretrained) values. We demonstrate that \emph{subset finetuning} (or SubTuning) often achieves accuracy comparable to full finetuning of the model, and even surpasses the performance of full finetuning when training data is scarce. Therefore, SubTuning allows deploying new tasks at minimal computational cost, while enjoying the benefits of finetuning the entire model. This yields a simple and effective method for multi-task learning, where different tasks do not interfere with one another, and yet share most of the resources at inference time. We demonstrate the efficiency of SubTuning across multiple tasks, using different network architectures and pretraining methods.

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Ehud Karpas, Omri Abend, Yonatan Belinkov, Barak Lenz, Opher Lieber, Nir Ratner, Yoav Shoham, Hofit Bata, Yoav Levine, Kevin Leyton-Brown, Dor Muhlgay, Noam Rozen, Erez Schwartz, Gal Shachaf, Shai Shalev-Shwartz, Amnon Shashua, Moshe Tenenholtz

Huge language models (LMs) have ushered in a new era for AI, serving as a gateway to natural-language-based knowledge tasks. Although an essential element of modern AI, LMs are also inherently limited in a number of ways. We discuss these limitations and how they can be avoided by adopting a systems approach. Conceptualizing the challenge as one that involves knowledge and reasoning in addition to linguistic processing, we define a flexible architecture with multiple neural models, complemented by discrete knowledge and reasoning modules. We describe this neuro-symbolic architecture, dubbed the Modular Reasoning, Knowledge and Language (MRKL, pronounced "miracle") system, some of the technical challenges in implementing it, and Jurassic-X, AI21 Labs' MRKL system implementation.

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Yoav Levine, Itay Dalmedigos, Ori Ram, Yoel Zeldes, Daniel Jannai, Dor Muhlgay, Yoni Osin, Opher Lieber, Barak Lenz, Shai Shalev-Shwartz, Amnon Shashua, Kevin Leyton-Brown, Yoav Shoham

Huge pretrained language models (LMs) have demonstrated surprisingly good zero-shot capabilities on a wide variety of tasks. This gives rise to the appealing vision of a single, versatile model with a wide range of functionalities across disparate applications. However, current leading techniques for leveraging a "frozen" LM -- i.e., leaving its weights untouched -- still often underperform fine-tuning approaches which modify these weights in a task-dependent way. Those, in turn, suffer forgetfulness and compromise versatility, suggesting a tradeoff between performance and versatility. The main message of this paper is that current frozen-model techniques such as prompt tuning are only the tip of the iceberg, and more powerful methods for leveraging frozen LMs can do just as well as fine tuning in challenging domains without sacrificing the underlying model's versatility. To demonstrate this, we introduce three novel methods for leveraging frozen models: input-dependent prompt tuning, frozen readers, and recursive LMs, each of which vastly improves on current frozen-model approaches. Indeed, some of our methods even outperform fine-tuning approaches in domains currently dominated by the latter. The computational cost of each method is higher than that of existing frozen model methods, but still negligible relative to a single pass through a huge frozen LM. Each of these methods constitutes a meaningful contribution in its own right, but by presenting these contributions together we aim to convince the reader of a broader message that goes beyond the details of any given method: that frozen models have untapped potential and that fine-tuning is often unnecessary.

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Gal Kaplun, Eran Malach, Preetum Nakkiran, Shai Shalev-Shwartz

Large neural networks trained in the overparameterized regime are able to fit noise to zero train error. Recent work \citep{nakkiran2020distributional} has empirically observed that such networks behave as "conditional samplers" from the noisy distribution. That is, they replicate the noise in the train data to unseen examples. We give a theoretical framework for studying this conditional sampling behavior in the context of learning theory. We relate the notion of such samplers to knowledge distillation, where a student network imitates the outputs of a teacher on unlabeled data. We show that samplers, while being bad classifiers, can be good teachers. Concretely, we prove that distillation from samplers is guaranteed to produce a student which approximates the Bayes optimal classifier. Finally, we show that some common learning algorithms (e.g., Nearest-Neighbours and Kernel Machines) can generate samplers when applied in the overparameterized regime.

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Eran Malach, Gilad Yehudai, Shai Shalev-Shwartz, Ohad Shamir

Several recent works have shown separation results between deep neural networks, and hypothesis classes with inferior approximation capacity such as shallow networks or kernel classes. On the other hand, the fact that deep networks can efficiently express a target function does not mean this target function can be learned efficiently by deep neural networks. In this work we study the intricate connection between learnability and approximation capacity. We show that learnability with deep networks of a target function depends on the ability of simpler classes to approximate the target. Specifically, we show that a necessary condition for a function to be learnable by gradient descent on deep neural networks is to be able to approximate the function, at least in a weak sense, with shallow neural networks. We also show that a class of functions can be learned by an efficient statistical query algorithm if and only if it can be approximated in a weak sense by some kernel class. We give several examples of functions which demonstrate depth separation, and conclude that they cannot be efficiently learned, even by a hypothesis class that can efficiently approximate them.

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Eran Malach, Shai Shalev-Shwartz

Convolutional neural networks (CNN) exhibit unmatched performance in a multitude of computer vision tasks. However, the advantage of using convolutional networks over fully-connected networks is not understood from a theoretical perspective. In this work, we show how convolutional networks can leverage locality in the data, and thus achieve a computational advantage over fully-connected networks. Specifically, we show a class of problems that can be efficiently solved using convolutional networks trained with gradient-descent, but at the same time is hard to learn using a polynomial-size fully-connected network.

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Eran Malach, Shai Shalev-Shwartz

A supervised learning algorithm has access to a distribution of labeled examples, and needs to return a function (hypothesis) that correctly labels the examples. The hypothesis of the learner is taken from some fixed class of functions (e.g., linear classifiers, neural networks etc.). A failure of the learning algorithm can occur due to two possible reasons: wrong choice of hypothesis class (hardness of approximation), or failure to find the best function within the hypothesis class (hardness of learning). Although both approximation and learnability are important for the success of the algorithm, they are typically studied separately. In this work, we show a single hardness property that implies both hardness of approximation using linear classes and shallow networks, and hardness of learning using correlation queries and gradient-descent. This allows us to obtain new results on hardness of approximation and learnability of parity functions, DNF formulas and $AC^0$ circuits.

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Shai Shalev-Shwartz, Shaked Shammah, Amnon Shashua

The AI-alignment problem arises when there is a discrepancy between the goals that a human designer specifies to an AI learner and a potential catastrophic outcome that does not reflect what the human designer really wants. We argue that a formalism of AI alignment that does not distinguish between strategic and agnostic misalignments is not useful, as it deems all technology as un-safe. We propose a definition of a strategic-AI-alignment and prove that most machine learning algorithms that are being used in practice today do not suffer from the strategic-AI-alignment problem. However, without being careful, today's technology might lead to strategic misalignment.

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