Process for Adapting Language Models to Society (PALMS) with Values-Targeted Datasets

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 34 (NeurIPS 2021)

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Irene Solaiman, Christy Dennison


Language models can generate harmful and biased outputs and exhibit undesirable behavior according to a given cultural context. We propose a Process for Adapting Language Models to Society (PALMS) with Values-Targeted Datasets, an iterative process to significantly change model behavior by crafting and fine-tuning on a dataset that reflects a predetermined set of target values. We evaluate our process using three metrics: quantitative metrics with human evaluations that score output adherence to a target value, toxicity scoring on outputs; and qualitative metrics analyzing the most common word associated with a given social category. Through each iteration, we add additional training dataset examples based on observed shortcomings from evaluations. PALMS performs significantly better on all metrics compared to baseline and control models for a broad range of GPT-3 language model sizes without compromising capability integrity. We find that the effectiveness of PALMS increases with model size. We show that significantly adjusting language model behavior is feasible with a small, hand-curated dataset.