Large language models (LLMs) have been shown to be able to perform new tasks based on a few demonstrations or natural language instructions. While these capabilities have led to widespread adoption, most LLMs are developed by resource-rich organizations and are frequently kept from the public. As a step towards democratizing this powerful technology, we present BLOOM, a 176B-parameter open-access language model designed and built thanks to a collaboration of hundreds of researchers. BLOOM is a decoder-only Transformer language model that was trained on the ROOTS corpus, a dataset comprising hundreds of sources in 46 natural and 13 programming languages (59 in total). We find that BLOOM achieves competitive performance on a wide variety of benchmarks, with stronger results after undergoing multitask prompted finetuning. To facilitate future research and applications using LLMs, we publicly release our models and code under the Responsible AI License.
Progress in machine learning (ML) comes with a cost to the environment, given that training ML models requires significant computational resources, energy and materials. In the present article, we aim to quantify the carbon footprint of BLOOM, a 176-billion parameter language model, across its life cycle. We estimate that BLOOM's final training emitted approximately 24.7 tonnes of~\carboneq~if we consider only the dynamic power consumption, and 50.5 tonnes if we account for all processes ranging from equipment manufacturing to energy-based operational consumption. We also study the energy requirements and carbon emissions of its deployment for inference via an API endpoint receiving user queries in real-time. We conclude with a discussion regarding the difficulty of precisely estimating the carbon footprint of ML models and future research directions that can contribute towards improving carbon emissions reporting.