Stanford CS25: V4 I Aligning Open Language Models

Stanford CS25: V4 I Aligning Open Language Models

Key Historical Milestones in Language Modeling

The Rise of Language Models

  • 2020: GPT-3 release marked a significant improvement in language models.
  • 2021: "Stochastic Parrots" paper raised questions about language model capabilities.
  • 2022: ChatGPT's release reshaped the narrative around language models.

Reinforcement Learning from Human Feedback (RLHF)

  • RLHF is crucial for advanced language models like ChatGPT.
  • RLHF is cost-effective and time-effective, surprising NLP researchers.
  • Examples of RLHF's impact, such as Anthropic's models.

Alignment and Open Alignment

  • Timeline of alignment and open alignment, showcasing RLHF benefits.
  • Various alignment concepts: instruction fine-tuning, supervised fine-tuning, RLHF, preference fine-tuning.

Recent Developments in Fine-Tuning and Alignment

  • ChatGPT sparked discussions on open-sourcing models and forming development coalitions.
  • The Llama Suite's Alpaca model and its instruction-tuned capabilities.
  • Subsequent models like Vicuna introduced new prompt sources and the concept of an LLM as a judge.
  • Diverse datasets like SharGPT accelerated progress in fine-tuning models.
  • Legal considerations due to unlicensed datasets highlighted the need for responsible data collection.
  • Recent datasets like LMIS Chat One 1M and WildChat address data quality and user consent issues.
  • Weight differences between models due to licensing restrictions.
  • Notable models: Dolly (human data integration), Open Assistant (human-generated prompts), Stable Vuno (early RHF proficiency).
  • Efficient fine-tuning methods: QOR (low-rank adaptation), Cura (quantization and GPU tricks).
  • New evaluation tools: Chatbot Arena, Alpaca of Val, Mt Bench, Open LLM Leaderboard.
  • Challenges in interpretability and specificity of evaluation metrics.

Reinforcement Learning Fundamentals

  • Review of reinforcement learning (RL) fundamentals, reward functions, and optimization.
  • Introduction to direct preference optimization (DPO) as a simple and scalable training method.
  • DPO involves using gradient ascent to directly optimize the loss function without learning a reward model.
  • Successful scaling of DPO to a 70 billion parameter model, achieving performance close to GPT-3.5 on Chatbot Arena.
  • Contributions from other projects like Nvidia's SteerM and Berkeley's Starling LM Alpha.
  • PO currently outperforms DPO in alignment methods.

The Modern Ecosystem of Open Models

  • Growth of the open models ecosystem with diverse models and companies.
  • Emerging models like Gen-struck for rephrasing text and instruction models.
  • Open models catching up to closed models, but demand for both types persists.
  • Data limitations in alignment research, with a few datasets driving most work.
  • Need for more diverse and robust datasets to improve model performance.

Ongoing Research and Future Directions

  • Continued research on DPO with various extensions and improvements.
  • Increasing prevalence of larger model sizes and alignment research at scale.
  • Growing popularity of smaller language models for accessibility and local running.
  • Personalized language models for enhanced user experience and capabilities.
  • Active contributions to alignment research by organizations and individuals.
  • Model merging as an emerging technique for easy model merging without a GPU.
  • Alignment's impact beyond safety, improving user experience and capabilities in areas like code and math.
  • Synthetic data limitations and the need for controlled and trusted domain-specific models.
  • Ongoing search for a better evaluation method with a stronger or more robust signal.
  • Importance of embracing new developments and rapid progress in the language model space.
  • Alignment involves changing the distribution of the language model's output and can involve multiple tokens and different loss functions.
  • Watermarking for language models seen as a losing battle, with a focus on proving human-made content rather than AI-generated content.
  • Exploring different optimization functions beyond maximum likelihood estimation (MLE), such as reinforcement learning from human feedback (RHF).
  • Layered approach required to defend against attacks like Crescendo, considering specific use cases and limiting model capabilities.
  • Potential of quantization methods like Bitet and BitNet, but expertise needed for further exploration.
  • Need to control large-scale data extraction from large language models, with synthetic data generation as a potential solution.
  • Self-play as a broad field with no consensus on effective implementation.

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