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We’re continually working to advance our conversational capabilities. Conversation and natural language processing are powerful ways to make computers more accessible to everyone. And large language models are key to this.

Last year, we introduced LaMDA, our generative language model for dialogue applications that can converse on any topic. Today, we are excited to announce LaMDA 2, our most advanced conversational AI yet.

We are at the beginning of a journey to make models like these useful to people, and we feel a deep responsibility to get it right. To make progress, we need people to experience the technology and provide feedback. We opened LaMDA up to thousands of Googlers, who enjoyed testing it and seeing its capabilities. This yielded significant quality improvements, and led to a reduction in inaccurate or offensive responses.

That’s why we’ve made AI Test Kitchen. It’s a new way to explore AI features with a broader audience. Inside the AI Test Kitchen, there are a few different experiences. Each is meant to give you a sense of what it might be like to have LaMDA in your hands and use it for things you care about.

The first is called “Imagine it.” This demo tests if the model can take a creative idea you give it, and generate imaginative and relevant descriptions. These are not products, they are quick sketches that allow us to explore what LaMDA can do with you. The user interfaces are very simple.

Say you’re writing a story and need some inspirational ideas. Maybe one of your characters is exploring the deep ocean. You can ask what that might feel like. Here LaMDA describes a scene in the Mariana Trench. It even generates follow-up questions on the fly. You can ask LaMDA to imagine what kinds of creatures might live there. Remember, we didn’t hand-program the model for specific topics like submarines or bioluminescence. It synthesized these concepts from its training data. That’s why you can ask about almost any topic: Saturn’s rings or even being on a planet made of ice cream.

Staying on topic is a challenge for language models. Say you’re building a learning experience — you want it to be open-ended enough to allow people to explore where curiosity takes them, but stay safely on topic. Our second demo tests how LaMDA does with that.

In this demo, we’ve primed the model to focus on the topic of dogs. It starts by generating a question to spark conversation, “Have you ever wondered why dogs love to play fetch so much?” And if you ask a follow-up question, you get an answer with some relevant details: it’s interesting, it thinks it might have something to do with the sense of smell and treasure hunting.

You can take the conversation anywhere you want. Maybe you’re curious about how smell works and you want to dive deeper. You’ll get a unique response for that too. No matter what you ask, it will try to keep the conversation on the topic of dogs. If I start asking about cricket, which I probably would, the model brings the topic back to dogs in a fun way.

This challenge of staying on-topic is a tricky one, and it’s an important area of research for building useful applications with language models.

These experiences show the potential of language models to one day help us with things like planning, learning about the world, and more.

Of course, there are significant challenges to solve before these models can truly be useful. While we have improved safety, the model might still generate inaccurate, inappropriate, or offensive responses. That’s why we are inviting feedback in the app, so people can help report problems.

We will be doing all of this work in accordance with our AI Principles. Our process will be iterative, opening up access over the coming months, and carefully assessing feedback with a broad range of stakeholders — from AI researchers and social scientists to human rights experts. We’ll incorporate this feedback into future versions of LaMDA, and share our findings as we go.

Over time, we intend to continue adding other emerging areas of AI into AI Test Kitchen. You can learn more at: g.co/AITestKitchen.



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