We propose controlled decoding (CD), a novel off-policy reinforcement learning method to control the autoregressive generation from language models towards high reward outcomes. CD solves an off-policy reinforcement learning problem through a value function for the reward, which we call a prefix scorer. The prefix scorer is used at inference time to steer the generation towards higher reward outcomes. We show that the prefix scorer may be trained on (possibly) off-policy data to predict the expected reward when decoding is continued from a partially decoded response. We empirically demonstrate that CD is effective as a control mechanism on Reddit conversations corpus. We also show that the modularity of the design of CD makes it possible to control for multiple rewards, effectively solving a multi-objective reinforcement learning problem with no additional complexity. Finally, we show that CD can be applied in a novel blockwise fashion at inference-time, again without the need for any training-time changes, essentially bridging the gap between the popular best-of-$K$ strategy and token-level reinforcement learning. This makes CD a promising approach for alignment of language models.
We introduce PaLM 2, a new state-of-the-art language model that has better multilingual and reasoning capabilities and is more compute-efficient than its predecessor PaLM. PaLM 2 is a Transformer-based model trained using a mixture of objectives. Through extensive evaluations on English and multilingual language, and reasoning tasks, we demonstrate that PaLM 2 has significantly improved quality on downstream tasks across different model sizes, while simultaneously exhibiting faster and more efficient inference compared to PaLM. This improved efficiency enables broader deployment while also allowing the model to respond faster, for a more natural pace of interaction. PaLM 2 demonstrates robust reasoning capabilities exemplified by large improvements over PaLM on BIG-Bench and other reasoning tasks. PaLM 2 exhibits stable performance on a suite of responsible AI evaluations, and enables inference-time control over toxicity without additional overhead or impact on other capabilities. Overall, PaLM 2 achieves state-of-the-art performance across a diverse set of tasks and capabilities. When discussing the PaLM 2 family, it is important to distinguish between pre-trained models (of various sizes), fine-tuned variants of these models, and the user-facing products that use these models. In particular, user-facing products typically include additional pre- and post-processing steps. Additionally, the underlying models may evolve over time. Therefore, one should not expect the performance of user-facing products to exactly match the results reported in this report.
Prompt-Tuning is a new paradigm for finetuning pre-trained language models in a parameter-efficient way. Here, we explore the use of HyperNetworks to generate hyper-prompts: we propose HyperPrompt, a novel architecture for prompt-based task-conditioning of self-attention in Transformers. The hyper-prompts are end-to-end learnable via generation by a HyperNetwork. HyperPrompt allows the network to learn task-specific feature maps where the hyper-prompts serve as task global memories for the queries to attend to, at the same time enabling flexible information sharing among tasks. We show that HyperPrompt is competitive against strong multi-task learning baselines with as few as $0.14\%$ of additional task-conditioning parameters, achieving great parameter and computational efficiency. Through extensive empirical experiments, we demonstrate that HyperPrompt can achieve superior performances over strong T5 multi-task learning baselines and parameter-efficient adapter variants including Prompt-Tuning and HyperFormer++ on Natural Language Understanding benchmarks of GLUE and SuperGLUE across many model sizes.
We present LaMDA: Language Models for Dialog Applications. LaMDA is a family of Transformer-based neural language models specialized for dialog, which have up to 137B parameters and are pre-trained on 1.56T words of public dialog data and web text. While model scaling alone can improve quality, it shows less improvements on safety and factual grounding. We demonstrate that fine-tuning with annotated data and enabling the model to consult external knowledge sources can lead to significant improvements towards the two key challenges of safety and factual grounding. The first challenge, safety, involves ensuring that the model's responses are consistent with a set of human values, such as preventing harmful suggestions and unfair bias. We quantify safety using a metric based on an illustrative set of human values, and we find that filtering candidate responses using a LaMDA classifier fine-tuned with a small amount of crowdworker-annotated data offers a promising approach to improving model safety. The second challenge, factual grounding, involves enabling the model to consult external knowledge sources, such as an information retrieval system, a language translator, and a calculator. We quantify factuality using a groundedness metric, and we find that our approach enables the model to generate responses grounded in known sources, rather than responses that merely sound plausible. Finally, we explore the use of LaMDA in the domains of education and content recommendations, and analyze their helpfulness and role consistency.