Meet Alpaca: Stanford University’s Instruction-Following Language Model that Matches GPT-3.5 Performance Alpaca in Motion


The model is predicated on Meta AI’s LLaMA and stays significatively smaller than GPT-3.5.

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Instruction-following models corresponding to GPT-3.5 (text-davinci-003), ChatGPT, Claude, and Bing Chat at the moment are widely utilized by many users, including for work-related tasks. Nevertheless, despite their growing popularity, these models still have many deficiencies that have to be addressed. False information, social stereotypes, and toxic language are among the problems which were related to these models.

To handle these pressing issues, the tutorial community needs to have interaction more actively. Unfortunately, researching instruction-following models in academia has been difficult as a result of the limited availability of models that come close in capabilities to closed-source models like OpenAI’s text-davinci-003. To handle these challenges, researchers from Stanford University released their findings about an instruction-following language model called Alpaca.

Alpaca was fine-tuned from Meta’s LLaMA 7B model and trained on 52K instruction-following demonstrations generated using text-davinci-003. The researchers note that Alpaca shows many behaviors just like OpenAI’s text-davinci-003 but can also be surprisingly small and straightforward to breed. They’ve released the training recipe and data and plan to release the model weights in the long run.

The researchers have also hosted an interactive demo to enable the research community to raised understand Alpaca’s behavior. They encourage users to report any concerning behaviors in the online demo to assist them higher understand and mitigate these behaviors. Nevertheless, the researchers emphasize that Alpaca is meant only for educational research, and any business use is prohibited.

Training a high-quality instruction-following model under an instructional budget involves two significant challenges: a powerful pretrained language model and high-quality instruction-following data. The researchers addressed the primary challenge with the discharge of Meta’s latest LLaMA models. For the second challenge, they used an existing strong language model to mechanically generate instruction data. They fine-tuned Alpaca using supervised learning from a LLaMA 7B model on 52K instruction-following demonstrations generated from OpenAI’s text-davinci-003.

To generate instruction-following demonstrations, the researchers built upon the self-instruct method by utilizing the 175 human-written instruction-output pairs from the self-instruct seed set. They then used text-davinci-003 to generate more instructions using the seed set as in-context examples. The researchers simplified the generation pipeline and significantly reduced the associated fee. This process resulted in 52K unique instructions and the corresponding outputs, costing lower than $500 using the OpenAI API. They fine-tuned the LLaMA models using Hugging Face’s training framework, profiting from techniques like Fully Sharded Data Parallel and mixed precision training. For his or her initial run, fine-tuning a 7B LLaMA model took 3 hours on 8 80GB A100s, costing lower than $100 on most cloud compute providers. The researchers note that training efficiency might be improved to further reduce the associated fee.

Image Credit: Stanford University

The researchers conducted a human evaluation of Alpaca to evaluate its performance. The evaluation was performed by the five student researchers on inputs from the self-instruct evaluation set, which covers a various range of user-oriented instructions, including email writing, social media, and productivity tools.

The researchers performed a blind pairwise comparison between text-davinci-003 and Alpaca 7B and located that the 2 models had very similar performance. In reality, Alpaca won 90 out of 89 comparisons against text-davinci-003, which was a surprising result given the smaller model size and the modest amount of instruction-following data used to coach Alpaca.

Besides using the static evaluation set, the researchers also tested the Alpaca model interactively and located that it behaved similarly to text-davinci-003 on a various set of inputs. Nevertheless, the researchers acknowledge that their evaluation could also be limited in scale and variety. The next examples show how Alpaca is capable of follow instructions and produce high-quality outputs.

Image Credit: Stanford University
Image Credit: Stanford University

Despite the impressive capabilities of Alpaca, the model still exhibits among the classic limitations of instruction following models corresponding to toxicity, hallucinations or stereotypes. The Stanford researchers released an interactive demo and an open source version of Alpaca but its business usage continues to be forbidden.


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