It's a good observation that it's more efficient; does it trade off performance? (These sorts of comparisons would probably be demanded if it was submitted to any other truth-seeking ML venue, and I apologize for consistently being the person applying the pressures that generic academics provide. It would be nice if authors would provide these comparisons.)
Also, taking affine combinations in weight-space is not novel to Schmidt et al either. If nothing else, the Stable Diffusion community has been doing that since October to add and subtract capabili
steering the model using directions in activation space is more valuable than doing the same with weights, because in the future the consequences of cognition might be far-removed from its weights (deep deceptiveness)
(You linked to "deep deceptiveness," and I'm going to assume is related to self-deception (discussed in the academic literature and in the AI and evolution paper). If it isn't, then this point is still relevant for alignment since self-deception is another internal hazard.)
I think one could argue that self-deception could in some instances be ...
Page 4 of this paper compares negative vectors with fine-tuning for reducing toxic text: https://arxiv.org/pdf/2212.04089.pdf#page=4
In Table 3, they show in some cases task vectors can improve fine-tuned models.
Insofar as you mean to imply that "negative vectors" are obviously comparable to our technique, I disagree. Those are not activation additions, and I would guess it's not particularly similar to our approach. These "task vectors" involve subtracting weight vectors, not activation vectors. See also footnote 39 (EDIT: and the related work appendix now talks about this directly).
Yes, I'll tend to write up comments quickly so that I don't feel as inclined to get in detailed back-and-forths and use up time, but here we are. When I wrote it, I thought there were only 2 things mentioned in the related works until Daniel pointed out the formatting choice, and when I skimmed the post I didn't easily see comparisons or discussion that I expected to see, hence I gestured at needing more detailed comparisons. After posting, I found a one-sentence comparison of the work I was looking for, so I edited to include that I found it, but it was oddly not emphasized. A more ideal comment would have been "It would be helpful to me if this work would more thoroughly compare to (apparently) very related works such as ..."
In many of my papers, there aren't fairly similar works (I strongly prefer to work in areas before they're popular), so there's a lower expectation for comparison depth, though breadth is always standard. In other works of mine, such as this paper on learning the the right thing in the presence of extremely bad supervision/extremely bad training objectives, we contrast with the two main related works for two paragraphs, and compare to these two methods for around half of the entire paper.
The extent of an adequate comparison depends on the relatedness. I'm ...
Yes, I was--good catch. Earlier and now, unusual formatting/and a nonstandard related works is causing confusion. Even so, the work after the break is much older. The comparison to works such as https://arxiv.org/abs/2212.04089 is not in the related works and gets a sentence in a footnote: "That work took vectors between weights before and after finetuning on a new task, and then added or subtracted task-specific weight-diff vectors."
Is this big difference? I really don't know; it'd be helpful if they'd contrast more. Is this work very novel and useful, an...
On the object-level, deriving task vectors in weight-space from deltas in fine-tuned checkpoints is really different from what was done here, because it requires doing a lot of backward passes on a lot of data. Deriving task vectors in activation-space, as done in this new work, requires only a single forward pass on a truly tiny amount of data. So the data-efficiency and compute-efficiency of the steering power gained with this new method is orders of magnitude better, in my view.
Also, taking affine combinations in weight-space is not novel to Schmidt et ...
Background for people who understandably don't habitually read full empirical papers:
Related Works sections in empirical papers tend to include many comparisons in a coherent place. This helps contextualize the work and helps busy readers quickly identify if this work is meaningfully novel relative to the literature. Related works must therefore also give a good account of the literature. This helps us more easily understand how much of an advance this is. I've seen a good number of papers steering with latent arithmetic in the past year, but I would be su...
Could these sorts of posts have more thorough related works sections? It's usually standard for related works in empirical papers to mention 10+ works. Update: I was looking for a discussion of https://arxiv.org/abs/2212.04089, assumed it wasn't included in this post, and many minutes later finally found a brief sentence about it in a footnote.
I don't understand this comment. I did a quick count of related works that are mentioned in the "Related Works" section (and the footnotes of that section) and got around 10 works, so seems like this is meeting your pretty arbitrarily established bar, and there are also lots of footnotes and references to related work sprinkled all over the post, which seems like the better place to discuss related work anyways.
I am not familiar enough with the literature to know whether this post is omitting any crucial pieces of related work, but the relevant section of ...
Maybe also [1607.06520] Man is to Computer Programmer as Woman is to Homemaker? Debiasing Word Embeddings is relevant as early (2016) work concerning embedding arithmetic.
Open Problems in AI X-Risk:
Thermodynamics theories of life can be viewed as a generalization of Darwinism, though in my opinion the abstraction ends up being looser/less productive, and I think it's more fruitful just to talk in evolutionary terms directly.
You might find these useful:
"AI Safety" which often in practice means "self driving cars"
This may have been true four years ago, but ML researchers at leading labs rarely directly work on self-driving cars (e.g., research on sensor fusion). AV is has not been hot in quite a while. Fortunately now that AGI-like chatbots are popular, we're moving out of the realm of talking about making very narrow systems safer. The association with AV was not that bad since it was about getting many nines of reliability/extreme reliability, which was a useful subgoal. Unfortunately the world has not ...
When ML models get more competent, ML capabilities researchers will have strong incentives to build superhuman models. Finding superhuman training techniques would be the main thing they'd work on. Consequently, when the problem is more tractable, I don't see why it'd be neglected by the capabilities community--it'd be unreasonable for profit maximizers not to have it as a top priority when it becomes tractable. I don't see why alignment researchers have to work in this area with high externalities now and ignore other safe alignment research areas (in pra...
Empiricists think the problem is hard, AGI will show up soon, and if we want to have any hope of solving it, then we need to iterate and take some necessary risk by making progress in capabilities while we go.
This may be so for the OpenAI alignment team's empirical researchers, but other empirical researchers note we can work on several topics to reduce risk without substantially advancing general capabilities. (As far as I can tell, they are not working on any of the following topics, rather focusing on an avenue to scalable oversight which, as instantiat...
Sorry, I am just now seeing since I'm on here irregularly.
So any robustness work that actually improves the robustness of practical ML systems is going to have "capabilities externalities" in the sense of making ML products more valuable.
Yes, though I do not equate general capabilities with making something more valuable. As written elsewhere,
It’s worth noting that safety is commercially valuable: systems viewed as safe are more likely to be deployed. As a result, even improving safety without improving capabilities could hasten the onset of x-risks.
making them have non-causal decision theories
How does it distinctly do that?
Salient examples are robustness and RLHF. I think following the implied strategy---of avoiding any safety work that improves capabilities ("capability externalities")---would be a bad idea.
There are plenty of topics in robustness, monitoring, and alignment that improve safety differentially without improving vanilla upstream accuracy: most adversarial robustness research does not have general capabilities externalities; topics such as transparency, trojans, and anomaly detection do not; honesty efforts so far do not have externalities either. Here is analy...
I agree that some forms of robustness research don't have capabilities externalities, but the unreliability of ML systems is a major blocker to many applications. So any robustness work that actually improves the robustness of practical ML systems is going to have "capabilities externalities" in the sense of making ML products more valuable.
I disagree even more strongly with "honesty efforts don't have externalities:" AI systems confidently saying false statements is a major roadblock to lots of applications (e.g. any kind of deployment by Google), so this...
I am strongly in favor of our very best content going on arXiv. Both communities should engage more with each other.
As follows are suggestions for posting to arXiv. As a rule of thumb, if the content of a blogpost didn't take >300 hours of labor to create, then it probably should not go on arXiv. Maintaining a basic quality bar prevents arXiv from being overriden by people who like writing up many of their inchoate thoughts; publication standards are different for LW/AF than for arXiv. Even if a researcher spent many hours on the project, arXiv moderato...
Strongly agree. Three examples of work I've put on Arxiv which originated from the forum, which might be helpful as a touchstone. The first was cited 7 times the first year, and 50 more times since. The latter two were posted last year, and have not been indexed by Google as having been cited yet.
As an example of a technical but fairly conceptual paper, there is the Categorizing Goodhart's law paper. I pushed for this to be a paper rather than just a post, and I think that the resulting exposure was very worthwhile. Scott wrote the original pos...
Here's a continual stream of related arXiv papers available through reddit and twitter.
I should say formatting is likely a large contributing factor for this outcome. Tom Dietterich, an arXiv moderator, apparently had a positive impression of the content of your grokking analysis. However, research on arXiv will be more likely to go live if it conforms to standard (ICLR, NeurIPS, ICML) formatting and isn't a blogpost automatically exported into a TeX file.
I agree that formatting is the most likely issue. The content of Neel's grokking work is clearly suitable for arXiv (just very solid ML work). And the style of presentation of the blog post is already fairly similar to a standard paper (e.g. is has an Introduction section, lists contributions in bullet points, ...).
So yeah, I agree that formatting/layout probably will do the trick (including stuff like academic citation style).
This is why we introduced X-Risk Sheets, a questionnaire that researchers should include in their paper if they're claiming that their paper reduces AI x-risk. This way researchers need to explain their thinking and collect evidence that they're not just advancing capabilities.
We now include these x-risk sheets in our papers. For example, here is an example x-risk sheet included in an arXiv paper we put up yesterday.
At first glance of seeing this, I'm reminded of the safety questionnaires I had to fill out as part of running a study when taking experimental psychology classes in undergrad. It was a lot of annoyance and mostly a box ticking exercise. Everyone mostly did what they wanted to do anyway, and then hurriedly gerrymandered that questionnaire right before the deadline, so the faculty would allow them to proceed. Except the very conscientious students, who saw this as an excellent opportunity to prove their box ticking diligence.
As a case in point, I migh...
Note I'm mainly using this as an opportunity to talk about ideas and compute in NLP.
I don't know how big an improvement DeBERTaV2 is over SoTA.
DeBERTaV2 is pretty solid and mainly got its performance from an architectural change. Note the DeBERTa paper was initially uploaded in 2020, but it was updated early this year to include DeBERTa V2. The previous main popular SOTA on SuperGLUE was T5 (which beat RoBERTa). DeBERTaV2 uses 8x fewer parameters and 4x less compute than T5. DeBERTa's high performance isn't an artifact of SuperGLUE; in downstream tasks suc...
RE: "like I'm surprised if a clever innovation does more good than spending 4x more compute"
Earlier this year, DeBERTaV2 did better on SuperGLUE than models 10x the size and got state of the art.
Models such as DeBERTaV3 can do better than on commonsense question answering tasks than models that are tens or several hundreds of times larger.
Accuracy: 84.6 1 Parameters: 0.4B
Accuracy: 83.5 1 Parameters: 11B
73.0 1 175B
Bidirectional models + train...
In safety research labs in academe, we do not have a resource edge compared to the rest of the field.
We do not have large GPU clusters, so we cannot train GPT-2 from scratch or fine-tune large language models in a reasonable amount of time.
We also do not have many research engineers (currently zero) to help us execute projects. Some of us have safety projects from over a year ago on the backlog because there are not enough reliable people to help execute the projects.
These are substantial bottlenecks that more resources could resolve.
I asked for permission via Intercom to post this series on March 29th. Later, I asked for permission to use the [Draft] indicator and said it was written by others. I got permission for both of these, but the same person didn't give permission for both of these requests. Apologies this was not consolidated into one big ask with lots of context. (Feel free to get rid of any undue karma.)