We present the training recipe and results of scaling up PaLI-X, a multilingual vision and language model, both in terms of size of the components and the breadth of its training task mixture. Our model achieves new levels of performance on a wide-range of varied and complex tasks, including multiple image-based captioning and question-answering tasks, image-based document understanding and few-shot (in-context) learning, as well as object detection, video question answering, and video captioning. PaLI-X advances the state-of-the-art on most vision-and-language benchmarks considered (25+ of them). Finally, we observe emerging capabilities, such as complex counting and multilingual object detection, tasks that are not explicitly in the training mix.
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.
We present symbol tuning - finetuning language models on in-context input-label pairs where natural language labels (e.g., "positive/negative sentiment") are replaced with arbitrary symbols (e.g., "foo/bar"). Symbol tuning leverages the intuition that when a model cannot use instructions or natural language labels to figure out a task, it must instead do so by learning the input-label mappings. We experiment with symbol tuning across Flan-PaLM models up to 540B parameters and observe benefits across various settings. First, symbol tuning boosts performance on unseen in-context learning tasks and is much more robust to underspecified prompts, such as those without instructions or without natural language labels. Second, symbol-tuned models are much stronger at algorithmic reasoning tasks, with up to 18.2% better performance on the List Functions benchmark and up to 15.3% better performance on the Simple Turing Concepts benchmark. Finally, symbol-tuned models show large improvements in following flipped-labels presented in-context, meaning that they are more capable of using in-context information to override prior semantic knowledge.
Modern recommender systems leverage large-scale retrieval models consisting of two stages: training a dual-encoder model to embed queries and candidates in the same space, followed by an Approximate Nearest Neighbor (ANN) search to select top candidates given a query's embedding. In this paper, we propose a new single-stage paradigm: a generative retrieval model which autoregressively decodes the identifiers for the target candidates in one phase. To do this, instead of assigning randomly generated atomic IDs to each item, we generate Semantic IDs: a semantically meaningful tuple of codewords for each item that serves as its unique identifier. We use a hierarchical method called RQ-VAE to generate these codewords. Once we have the Semantic IDs for all the items, a Transformer based sequence-to-sequence model is trained to predict the Semantic ID of the next item. Since this model predicts the tuple of codewords identifying the next item directly in an autoregressive manner, it can be considered a generative retrieval model. We show that our recommender system trained in this new paradigm improves the results achieved by current SOTA models on the Amazon dataset. Moreover, we demonstrate that the sequence-to-sequence model coupled with hierarchical Semantic IDs offers better generalization and hence improves retrieval of cold-start items for recommendations.
Pretrained multilingual large language models have typically used heuristic temperature-based sampling to balance between different languages. However previous work has not systematically evaluated the efficacy of different pretraining language distributions across model scales. In this paper, we propose a new sampling method, UniMax, that delivers more uniform coverage of head languages while mitigating overfitting on tail languages by explicitly capping the number of repeats over each language's corpus. We perform an extensive series of ablations testing a range of sampling strategies on a suite of multilingual benchmarks, while varying model scale. We find that UniMax outperforms standard temperature-based sampling, and the benefits persist as scale increases. As part of our contribution, we release: (i) an improved and refreshed mC4 multilingual corpus consisting of 29 trillion characters across 107 languages, and (ii) a suite of pretrained umT5 model checkpoints trained with UniMax sampling.
Many natural language processing tasks benefit from long inputs, but processing long documents with Transformers is expensive -- not only due to quadratic attention complexity but also from applying feedforward and projection layers to every token. However, not all tokens are equally important, especially for longer documents. We propose CoLT5, a long-input Transformer model that builds on this intuition by employing conditional computation, devoting more resources to important tokens in both feedforward and attention layers. We show that CoLT5 achieves stronger performance than LongT5 with much faster training and inference, achieving SOTA on the long-input SCROLLS benchmark. Moreover, CoLT5 can effectively and tractably make use of extremely long inputs, showing strong gains up to 64k input length.
We study how in-context learning (ICL) in language models is affected by semantic priors versus input-label mappings. We investigate two setups-ICL with flipped labels and ICL with semantically-unrelated labels-across various model families (GPT-3, InstructGPT, Codex, PaLM, and Flan-PaLM). First, experiments on ICL with flipped labels show that overriding semantic priors is an emergent ability of model scale. While small language models ignore flipped labels presented in-context and thus rely primarily on semantic priors from pretraining, large models can override semantic priors when presented with in-context exemplars that contradict priors, despite the stronger semantic priors that larger models may hold. We next study semantically-unrelated label ICL (SUL-ICL), in which labels are semantically unrelated to their inputs (e.g., foo/bar instead of negative/positive), thereby forcing language models to learn the input-label mappings shown in in-context exemplars in order to perform the task. The ability to do SUL-ICL also emerges primarily with scale, and large-enough language models can even perform linear classification in a SUL-ICL setting. Finally, we evaluate instruction-tuned models and find that instruction tuning strengthens both the use of semantic priors and the capacity to learn input-label mappings, but more of the former.
We study the design decisions of publicly available instruction tuning methods, and break down the development of Flan 2022 (Chung et al., 2022). Through careful ablation studies on the Flan Collection of tasks and methods, we tease apart the effect of design decisions which enable Flan-T5 to outperform prior work by 3-17%+ across evaluation settings. We find task balancing and enrichment techniques are overlooked but critical to effective instruction tuning, and in particular, training with mixed prompt settings (zero-shot, few-shot, and chain-of-thought) actually yields stronger (2%+) performance in all settings. In further experiments, we show Flan-T5 requires less finetuning to converge higher and faster than T5 on single downstream tasks, motivating instruction-tuned models as more computationally-efficient starting checkpoints for new tasks. Finally, to accelerate research on instruction tuning, we make the Flan 2022 collection of datasets, templates, and methods publicly available at https://github.com/google-research/FLAN/tree/main/flan/v2.
The scaling of Transformers has driven breakthrough capabilities for language models. At present, the largest large language models (LLMs) contain upwards of 100B parameters. Vision Transformers (ViT) have introduced the same architecture to image and video modelling, but these have not yet been successfully scaled to nearly the same degree; the largest dense ViT contains 4B parameters (Chen et al., 2022). We present a recipe for highly efficient and stable training of a 22B-parameter ViT (ViT-22B) and perform a wide variety of experiments on the resulting model. When evaluated on downstream tasks (often with a lightweight linear model on frozen features), ViT-22B demonstrates increasing performance with scale. We further observe other interesting benefits of scale, including an improved tradeoff between fairness and performance, state-of-the-art alignment to human visual perception in terms of shape/texture bias, and improved robustness. ViT-22B demonstrates the potential for "LLM-like" scaling in vision, and provides key steps towards getting there.