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Stanford’s Alpaca Language Model – An Inexpensive Alternative To Open AI GPT?

Mar 20, 2023 | AR / AI Marketing

Today, let’s talk about a breakthrough that could change the game – Stanford’s Alpaca model. It has the potential to be as consequential as GPT-4, which is a pretty bold claim, but hear me out.

The Alpaca Model: An Overview
Unexpected Cost Reductions

The Alpaca model behaves similarly to Open AI’s text DaVinci 3, but it’s surprisingly small, easy to reproduce, and cheap, costing less than $600.
You might be wondering, “Okay, that’s cool, but how does it change the world?”
Let me explain.
Just six weeks ago, Ark Investment Management predicted that the cost of all GPT-3 models, which is currently $4.6 million, would only fall to $30 by 2030.
However, Stanford claims that 99% of this cost reduction has already happened in just five weeks since the prediction was made.
This reduction in cost is a big deal, and we should pay attention to it. But why?
Well, imagine what people can do with such a powerful language model that is also affordable.

The Significance of Alpaca’s Retraining

Stanford’s retraining of a llama model by cheaply fine-tuning it is a big deal. It’s a brand new idiom of AI as a technology.
Stanford claims that its model performs comparably to Da Vinci 3 and GPT-3, but how could it compete with such powerful models?
Stanford used the weakest of the open-source llama models, the 7 billion parameter one, and then recruited GPT-3 to train that meta model.
How could they possibly do this?
In summary, Alpaca was created using self-instruct, where you start with human-made examples of exemplar prompts and outputs, and then the language model ( for example GPT3 ) generates thousands more instances.
You filter out the bad ones and put all the good examples back into the model, which improves its understanding of the instructions and generates more examples.

The Implications of Alpaca’s Success

It’s incredible that this breakthrough could enable more people, including bad actors, to create new cheap models.
However, it’s also a cause for concern. Models like GPT-3 and GPT-4 rely on proprietary data, which was supposed to give them a competitive edge, but Stanford’s breakthrough shows that these costs can be cut.
This could lead to more competition, which could be both good and bad.

In A Nutshell

I’ve got some thoughts on the latest developments in the world of AI. Specifically, I’ve been thinking about the implications of the recent release of Stanford’s Alpaca model, and what it means for the economics of large language models.

This raises some interesting questions about the incentives for companies like Microsoft and Google to continue pouring billions of dollars into developing cutting-edge models.
If anyone can easily reproduce these models at a much lower cost, will these companies react by making their models even more closed off and inaccessible? It’s a possibility we’ll need to keep an eye on.
But it’s not just big tech companies we need to be thinking about.
Nation-states are also getting involved in what some are calling an “arms race” to develop the most advanced language models.
And as we’ve seen with Alpaca, even outsiders can make significant strides in this area if they have the right resources and techniques.

All of this raises the question: are we headed for a future where companies and governments are in a constant competition with both each other and outsiders trying to cheaply imitate their models?
It’s a fascinating and slightly concerning prospect, and one that I’ll be watching closely in the years to come.

Stay curious, my friends!

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