Unnatural Instructions: Tuning Language Models with (Almost) No Human Labor

Or Honovich, Thomas Scialom, Omer Levy, Timo Schick

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

Abstract

Instruction tuning enables pretrained language models to perform new tasks from inference-time natural language descriptions. These approaches rely on vast amounts of human supervision in the form of crowdsourced datasets or user interactions. In this work, we introduce Unnatural Instructions: a large dataset of creative and diverse instructions, collected with virtually no human labor. We collect 64,000 examples by prompting a language model with three seed examples of instructions and eliciting a fourth. This set is then expanded by prompting the model to rephrase each instruction, creating a total of approximately 240,000 examples of instructions, inputs, and outputs. Experiments show that despite containing a fair amount of noise, training on Unnatural Instructions rivals the effectiveness of training on open-source manually-curated datasets, surpassing the performance of models such as T0++ and Tk-Instruct across various benchmarks. These results demonstrate the potential of model-generated data as a cost-effective alternative to crowdsourcing for dataset expansion and diversification.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLong Papers
PublisherAssociation for Computational Linguistics (ACL)
Pages14409-14428
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9781959429722
StatePublished - 2023
Event61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics, ACL 2023 - Toronto, Canada
Duration: 9 Jul 202314 Jul 2023

Publication series

NameProceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics
Volume1
ISSN (Print)0736-587X

Conference

Conference61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics, ACL 2023
Country/TerritoryCanada
CityToronto
Period9/07/2314/07/23

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