Training and Sharing Large Language Models

The Data Exchange Podcast: Connor Leahy on building models and datasets for the natural language research community.

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This week’s guest is Connor Leahy, AI Researcher at Aleph Alpha GmbH, and founding member of EleutherAI, (pronnounced “ee-luther”) a collective of researchers and engineers building resources and models for researchers who work on natural language models. As NLP research becomes more computationally demanding and data intensive, there is a need for researchers to work together to develop tools and resources for the broader community. While relatively new, EleutherAI has already released a models and data that many researchers are benefitting from.

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We discussed EleutherAI’s projects including:

We also discussed the state of natural language research, the rise of large language models, embeddings, and a new role that Connor and others have described as “prompt engineer” (see here and here, as well as attempts to automatically discover diverse prompts).

Connor Leahy:

So right now we’re going to be in a period where there are people I know personally, people that are just beautiful prompt engineers, in a way that they can just make these models do things that I can’t make them do. They can peruse much better text, much more beautiful prose or better answers or something. So there is that and I think “prompt engineers” will exist for some time. But at some point that too will be replaced by AI. At some point AI will be so smart that there will be no need for prompt engineering. When will that happen? Well I don’t know that it might be anytime soon, it might take a long time.

… In my day job, if you’re a maestro prompter, we would like to talk to you, we might hire you. Because we experiment with stuff like this. … we think that this will become a thing. Currently no one really is a “prompt engineer”.  Of the few people I know that I would consider “master prompters” or “prompt engineers”, are more like hobbyists. ..  I know a few people that have become really masterful prompters and are able to use these models to write stories and stuff. But I expect to also be actual “prompt engineers” in the future.

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