In this work we explore recent advances in instruction-tuning language models on a range of open instruction-following datasets. Despite recent claims that open models can be on par with state-of-the-art proprietary models, these claims are often accompanied by limited evaluation, making it difficult to compare models across the board and determine the utility of various resources. We provide a large set of instruction-tuned models from 6.7B to 65B parameters in size, trained on 12 instruction datasets ranging from manually curated (e.g., OpenAssistant) to synthetic and distilled (e.g., Alpaca) and systematically evaluate them on their factual knowledge, reasoning, multilinguality, coding, and open-ended instruction following abilities through a collection of automatic, model-based, and human-based metrics. We further introduce T\"ulu, our best performing instruction-tuned model suite finetuned on a combination of high-quality open resources. Our experiments show that different instruction-tuning datasets can uncover or enhance specific skills, while no single dataset (or combination) provides the best performance across all evaluations. Interestingly, we find that model and human preference-based evaluations fail to reflect differences in model capabilities exposed by benchmark-based evaluations, suggesting the need for the type of systemic evaluation performed in this work. Our evaluations show that the best model in any given evaluation reaches on average 83% of ChatGPT performance, and 68% of GPT-4 performance, suggesting that further investment in building better base models and instruction-tuning data is required to close the gap. We release our instruction-tuned models, including a fully finetuned 65B T\"ulu, along with our code, data, and evaluation framework at https://github.com/allenai/open-instruct to facilitate future research.
Despite thousands of researchers, engineers, and artists actively working on improving text-to-image generation models, systems often fail to produce images that accurately align with the text inputs. We introduce TIFA (Text-to-Image Faithfulness evaluation with question Answering), an automatic evaluation metric that measures the faithfulness of a generated image to its text input via visual question answering (VQA). Specifically, given a text input, we automatically generate several question-answer pairs using a language model. We calculate image faithfulness by checking whether existing VQA models can answer these questions using the generated image. TIFA is a reference-free metric that allows for fine-grained and interpretable evaluations of generated images. TIFA also has better correlations with human judgments than existing metrics. Based on this approach, we introduce TIFA v1.0, a benchmark consisting of 4K diverse text inputs and 25K questions across 12 categories (object, counting, etc.). We present a comprehensive evaluation of existing text-to-image models using TIFA v1.0 and highlight the limitations and challenges of current models. For instance, we find that current text-to-image models, despite doing well on color and material, still struggle in counting, spatial relations, and composing multiple objects. We hope our benchmark will help carefully measure the research progress in text-to-image synthesis and provide valuable insights for further research.
Large "instruction-tuned" language models (finetuned to respond to instructions) have demonstrated a remarkable ability to generalize zero-shot to new tasks. Nevertheless, they depend heavily on human-written instruction data that is limited in quantity, diversity, and creativity, therefore hindering the generality of the tuned model. We introduce Self-Instruct, a framework for improving the instruction-following capabilities of pretrained language models by bootstrapping off its own generations. Our pipeline generates instruction, input, and output samples from a language model, then prunes them before using them to finetune the original model. Applying our method to vanilla GPT3, we demonstrate a 33% absolute improvement over the original model on Super-NaturalInstructions, on par with the performance of InstructGPT_001, which is trained with private user data and human annotations. For further evaluation, we curate a set of expert-written instructions for novel tasks, and show through human evaluation that tuning GPT3 with Self-Instruct outperforms using existing public instruction datasets by a large margin, leaving only a 5% absolute gap behind InstructGPT_001. Self-Instruct provides an almost annotation-free method for aligning pre-trained language models with instructions, and we release our large synthetic dataset to facilitate future studies on instruction tuning.
Recent NLP models have the great ability to generalise `zero-shot' to new tasks using only an instruction as guidance. However, these approaches usually repeat their instructions with every input, requiring costly reprocessing of lengthy instructions for every inference example. To alleviate this, we introduce Hypernetworks for INstruction Tuning (HINT), which convert task instructions and examples using a pretrained text encoder into parameter-efficient modules inserted into an underlying model, eliminating the need to include instructions in the model input. Compared to prior approaches that concatenate instructions with every input instance, we find that HINT models are significantly more compute-efficient and consistently outperform these approaches for a given inference budget.
We introduce INSTRUCTOR, a new method for computing text embeddings given task instructions: every text input is embedded together with instructions explaining the use case (e.g., task and domain descriptions). Unlike encoders from prior work that are more specialized, INSTRUCTOR is a single embedder that can generate text embeddings tailored to different downstream tasks and domains, without any further training. We first annotate instructions for 330 diverse tasks and train INSTRUCTOR on this multitask mixture with a contrastive loss. We evaluate INSTRUCTOR on 70 embedding evaluation tasks (66 of which are unseen during training), ranging from classification and information retrieval to semantic textual similarity and text generation evaluation. INSTRUCTOR, while having an order of magnitude fewer parameters than the previous best model, achieves state-of-the-art performance, with an average improvement of 3.4% compared to the previous best results on the 70 diverse datasets. Our analysis suggests that INSTRUCTOR is robust to changes in instructions, and that instruction finetuning mitigates the challenge of training a single model on diverse datasets. Our model, code, and data are available at https://instructor-embedding.github.io.
How can we measure the generalization of models to a variety of unseen tasks when provided with their language instructions? To facilitate progress in this goal, we introduce Natural-Instructions v2, a collection of 1,600+ diverse language tasks and their expert written instructions. More importantly, the benchmark covers 70+ distinct task types, such as tagging, in-filling, and rewriting. This benchmark is collected with contributions of NLP practitioners in the community and through an iterative peer review process to ensure their quality. This benchmark enables large-scale evaluation of cross-task generalization of the models -- training on a subset of tasks and evaluating on the remaining unseen ones. For instance, we are able to rigorously quantify generalization as a function of various scaling parameters, such as the number of observed tasks, the number of instances, and model sizes. As a by-product of these experiments. we introduce Tk-Instruct, an encoder-decoder Transformer that is trained to follow a variety of in-context instructions (plain language task definitions or k-shot examples) which outperforms existing larger models on our benchmark. We hope this benchmark facilitates future progress toward more general-purpose language understanding models.
Models of language trained on very large corpora have been demonstrated useful for NLP. As fixed artifacts, they have become the object of intense study, with many researchers "probing" the extent to which linguistic abstractions, factual and commonsense knowledge, and reasoning abilities they acquire and readily demonstrate. Building on this line of work, we consider a new question: for types of knowledge a language model learns, when during (pre)training are they acquired? We plot probing performance across iterations, using RoBERTa as a case study. Among our findings: linguistic knowledge is acquired fast, stably, and robustly across domains. Facts and commonsense are slower and more domain-sensitive. Reasoning abilities are, in general, not stably acquired. As new datasets, pretraining protocols, and probes emerge, we believe that probing-across-time analyses can help researchers understand the complex, intermingled learning that these models undergo and guide us toward more efficient approaches that accomplish necessary learning faster.
When answering complex questions, people can seamlessly combine information from visual, textual and tabular sources. While interest in models that reason over multiple pieces of evidence has surged in recent years, there has been relatively little work on question answering models that reason across multiple modalities. In this paper, we present MultiModalQA(MMQA): a challenging question answering dataset that requires joint reasoning over text, tables and images. We create MMQA using a new framework for generating complex multi-modal questions at scale, harvesting tables from Wikipedia, and attaching images and text paragraphs using entities that appear in each table. We then define a formal language that allows us to take questions that can be answered from a single modality, and combine them to generate cross-modal questions. Last, crowdsourcing workers take these automatically-generated questions and rephrase them into more fluent language. We create 29,918 questions through this procedure, and empirically demonstrate the necessity of a multi-modal multi-hop approach to solve our task: our multi-hop model, ImplicitDecomp, achieves an average F1of 51.7 over cross-modal questions, substantially outperforming a strong baseline that achieves 38.2 F1, but still lags significantly behind human performance, which is at 90.1 F1
Health literacy has emerged as a crucial factor in making appropriate health decisions and ensuring treatment outcomes. However, medical jargon and the complex structure of professional language in this domain make health information especially hard to interpret. Thus, there is an urgent unmet need for automated methods to enhance the accessibility of the biomedical literature to the general population. This problem can be framed as a type of translation problem between the language of healthcare professionals, and that of the general public. In this paper, we introduce the novel task of automated generation of lay language summaries of biomedical scientific reviews, and construct a dataset to support the development and evaluation of automated methods through which to enhance the accessibility of the biomedical literature. We conduct analyses of the various challenges in solving this task, including not only summarization of the key points but also explanation of background knowledge and simplification of professional language. We experiment with state-of-the-art summarization models as well as several data augmentation techniques, and evaluate their performance using both automated metrics and human assessment. Results indicate that automatically generated summaries produced using contemporary neural architectures can achieve promising quality and readability as compared with reference summaries developed for the lay public by experts (best ROUGE-L of 50.24 and Flesch-Kincaid readability score of 13.30). We also discuss the limitations of the current attempt, providing insights and directions for future work.