An international team of around 1,000 largely academic volunteers has tried to break big tech’s stranglehold on natural-language processing and reduce its harms. Trained with US$7-million-worth of publicly funded computing time, the BLOOM language model will rival in scale those made by firms Google and OpenAI, but will be open-source. BLOOM will also be the first model of its scale to be multilingual.
The collaboration, called BigScience, launched an early version of the model on 17 June, and hopes that it will ultimately help to reduce harmful outputs of artificial intelligence (AI) language systems. Models that recognize and generate language are increasingly used by big tech firms in applications from chat bots to translators, and can sound so eerily human that a Google engineer this month claimed that the firm’s AI model was sentient (Google strongly denies that the AI possesses sentience). But such models also suffer from serious practical and ethical flaws, such as parroting human biases. These are difficult to tackle because the inner workings of most such models are closed to researchers.
As well being a tool to explore AI, BLOOM will be open for a range of research uses, such as extracting information from historical texts and making classifications in biology. “We think that access to the model is an essential step to do responsible machine learning,” says Thomas Wolf, co-founder of Hugging Face, a company that hosts an open-source platform for AI models and data sets, and has helped to spearhead the initiative.
“It was long overdue that this technology diffused into the open-source world, and this is quite an interesting way for it to have happened,” says Connor Leahy, co-founder of EleutherAI, which is creating its own open-source large language model in English and was not involved in the project.
Large language models are algorithms that learn statistical associations between billions of words and phrases to perform tasks such as generating summaries, translating, answering questions and classifying text. Built using brain-inspired architectures known as neural networks, the models train through adjusting values, called parameters, by blanking out words and comparing their predictions with reality. BLOOM has 176 billion parameters, on a par with GPT-3, one of the best-known such models, which was created by the non-profit firm OpenAI and licensed by Microsoft.
Although such models are sometimes impressive — generating poetry or correctly answering trivia questions — they have no sense of the meaning of language, which causes them to also create gibberish. More worryingly, they can also promote abuse or self-harm, and echo existing racist or sexist associations that are sewn throughout the human-written text they learn on, such as linking ‘Islam’ with terrorism. The models generally cost millions of dollars to train and have an enormous carbon footprint (BigScience eventually plans to reveal its carbon emissions).
Whereas most natural-language models are built by small in-house teams, BLOOM was the work of hundreds of researchers — mostly academics — including ethicists, legal scholars and philosophers, but also some employees from Facebook and Google, working in a personal capacity. To train BLOOM, BigScience was granted free access to France’s national Jean Zay supercomputer facility outside Paris. The model is currently in the last few weeks of its three-month training period.
Models are only as good as the data sets they are based on, so a major task was selecting what texts the model should learn from, says Yacine Jernite, a machine-learning researcher at Hugging Face. Most major models rip language directly from the web, including sites such as Reddit. Instead, the BigScience researchers hand-picked nearly two-thirds of their 341-billion-word data set from 500 sources. Among them was Semantic Scholar, an AI-backed search engine for academic publications that also includes content such as Nature news articles. The sources were suggested during a series of workshops, including with community groups, such as the African natural-language-processing community Masakhane, LatinX in AI and Machine Learning Tokyo. “We wanted to make sure people with proximity to the data, their country, the language they speak, had a hand in choosing what language came into the model’s training,” says Jernite.
To make full use of the computing power available, the team topped up the data trove using a multilingual web crawl, filtered for quality and with some redaction for privacy. The collaboration also attempted to reduce the usual over-representation of porn sites (which can lead to sexist associations in the model) but without excluding keywords that would remove content associated with frank discussion of sexuality in often under-represented communities.
Jernite acknowledges that BLOOM will not be free of biases. But by providing it with multicultural and high-quality sources, the team hopes to improve on existing models. Crucially, because the code and data set behind the model are open, researchers can try to understand the roots of harmful behaviours, which could improve future iterations, says Wolf.
Evaluation of the model will also differ from the usual benchmarks, says Ellie Pavlick, a natural-language-learning researcher at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. As well as comparing BLOOM against other models in its abilities to, for example, answer questions, researchers also want to look at more diverse metrics, such as how strongly it makes certain stereotyped associations or how biased its abilities are towards a specific language. Pavlick hopes that because the model has been trained to be multilingual, it might have a deeper understanding of language, which could help in its ability to generalize to a diversity of tasks.
Leahy predicts that the model might perform slightly worse than other large models in English, given its smaller data set in the language, but that should be balanced by markedly better performance elsewhere.
Free to use
The fully trained BLOOM model will be available to download for researchers who want to experiment with it or train it on new data for specific applications. But downloading it and running it requires significant hardware capacity. Because that’s available to so few research teams, BigScience will also publish smaller, less hardware-intensive versions as well as create a distributed system that allows labs to share the model across their servers. In addition, Hugging Face will release a web application that will enable anyone to query BLOOM without downloading it. A similar application will be available for the early release later this week.
BLOOM could find uses in research outside AI. Francesco de Toni, a linguist at the University of Western Australia in Perth, jointly leads a BigScience working group that is looking at using models to extract information from collections of historical texts that are too large to go through by hand. Models can, for example, extract all the names or goods mentioned in a collection of letters by Renaissance merchants — information that would be impossible to find using a search engine.
BLOOM comes with documentation that outlines its capabilities and limitations. Using it also requires signing up to an evolving legal licence that commits researchers to not use the model for malicious or inappropriate ends, such as generating fake news. The collaboration will monitor how the model is applied and adjust the license and documentation as necessary, says Giada Pistilli, an ethicist at Hugging Face and philosopher at the Sorbonne University in Paris who co-chaired BigScience’s ethical and legal working group. “It’s really hard to imagine and predict all the uses,” she says.
Is DuckDuckGo Safe? Your Comprehensive Privacy Guide
Explore the safety and privacy features of DuckDuckGo with this comprehensive guide. Learn how DuckDuckGo protects your online activities and keeps your information secure. Discover why DuckDuckGo is a trustworthy option for privacy-conscious users.
In an age where online privacy is paramount, users are constantly seeking secure and private alternatives to traditional search engines. DuckDuckGo, a privacy-focused search engine, has gained significant attention for its commitment to user confidentiality. This article delves deep into the question: “Is DuckDuckGo safe?” We’ll explore the features that make DuckDuckGo a reliable choice for safeguarding your online activities.
Is DuckDuckGo Safe?
DuckDuckGo is a secure and private search engine that emphasizes protecting users’ personal information and search history. It employs several features to ensure your online activities remain confidential and shielded from prying eyes.
Privacy Protection Mechanisms
DuckDuckGo employs a range of privacy protection mechanisms to keep your information safe:
- No Tracking: Unlike mainstream search engines, DuckDuckGo does not track your search queries, ensuring that your search history remains private.
- Anonymous Searches: DuckDuckGo does not associate your searches with your IP address or create user profiles, guaranteeing anonymous searches.
- Secure Connection: The search engine enforces HTTPS encryption, adding an extra layer of security to your online interactions.
- Minimal Data Retention: DuckDuckGo retains minimal data related to your searches, and the data that is retained is not personally identifiable.
Search Result Quality
Despite its strong emphasis on privacy, DuckDuck-Go provides high-quality search results using its unique search algorithm. The search engine utilizes aggregated data from various sources, including Bing and Wikipedia, to deliver relevant results without compromising your privacy.
How Does DuckDuck-Go Ensure Safety?
DuckDuck-Go implements several measures to ensure safety while using its services:
- Smarter Encryption: DuckDuck-Go uses Smarter Encryption to establish a secure connection between your device and its servers, reducing the chances of data interception.
- Privacy Browser Extension: The privacy browser extension provided by DuckDuck-Go blocks third-party trackers, enhances encryption, and enforces secure connections, creating a safer browsing experience.
- Instant Answers: DuckDuck-Go’s Instant Answers feature provides direct answers to your queries, reducing the need to click on potentially unsafe links.
FAQs About DuckDuck-Go’s Safety
Can I trust DuckDuck-Go with my search queries?
Absolutely. DuckDuck-Go’s no-tracking policy and emphasis on privacy ensure that your search queries are not stored or tied to your identity.
Is DuckDuck-Go’s search algorithm effective despite not tracking users?
Yes, DuckDuck-Go’s search algorithm aggregates data from various sources to provide relevant search results without compromising user privacy.
Can I use DuckDuck-Go as my default search engine?
Certainly. DuckDuck-Go offers browser extensions and mobile apps that make it easy to set it as your default search engine.
How does DuckDuck-Go generate revenue if it doesn’t track users?
DuckDuck-Go generates revenue through advertising that is not based on user data. Instead, ads are contextually relevant to the search terms, ensuring privacy.
Is my personal information safe with DuckDuck-Go’s browser extension?
Yes, DuckDuck-Go’s browser extension enhances your online security by blocking trackers and encrypting connections, ensuring your personal information remains safe.
Can I use DuckDuck-Go on mobile devices?
Absolutely. DuckDuck-Go provides mobile apps for various platforms, allowing you to enjoy its privacy-focused search on your mobile devices.
In a digital landscape where privacy is a growing concern, DuckDuckGo stands out as a beacon of trust and security. Its commitment to privacy, no-tracking policy, and robust security mechanisms make it a reliable choice for those seeking a safer and more private online search experience. With DuckDuck-Go, you can explore the web with confidence, knowing that your personal information remains protected.
The Significance of Proper Support in Sportswear for Exercise
When purchasing exercise clothing, the aspect of support is often overlooked. Sportswear companies tend to prioritise features such as moisture-wicking materials and convenient pockets. However, we believe that support is a crucial aspect of dressing for workouts, as it ensures both comfort and optimal performance. Support can be seen as the intersection of sportswear and shapewear. Therefore, it is essential to understand the significance of appropriate support during physical activity and know where to find it.
The Shapewear Crossover
Supportive sportswear primarily functions through gentle compression. It maintains stability and keeps your body secure while you engage in physical activity. Common characteristics between Standard shapewear and sports bras can be found. Both utilise specialised, flexible materials to offer body support. They are also designed with minimal seams to prevent discomfort and ensure discreteness. Additionally, the emphasis on comfort remains consistent for both types of apparel. As a result, similar principles apply when it comes to providing optimal body support.
What kind of support should your athletic apparel provide?
When engaging in physical activities, it is important to wear clothing that provides stability, regardless of the intensity. Whether you are running a marathon or practising yoga, your Sports bras and briefs should not cause any discomfort or irritation. In this article, we will explore the areas of the body that require support from sportswear.
A sports bra is essential for any physical activity, regardless of intensity. It serves as the ultimate supportive sportswear, providing both comfort and stability. By minimizing excessive movement, it helps prevent discomfort in the breast and back areas. With the multitude of options available, finding the perfect sports bra style depends on factors such as your breast size, the type of sport you engage in, and your preferred method of wearing and removing it.
If you’ve ever dealt with back pain, you understand the significance of a well-fitting bra. A sports bra that offers adequate support helps minimize the strain on your muscles and ligaments, preventing discomfort and soreness in your back. Additionally, it alleviates upper back and shoulder pain commonly associated with the weight of larger breasts.
Those who possess knowledge on the matter may opt to provide support to their waist and stomach by wearing sports underwear or leggings. Both options are equally effective. It is advisable to seek out high-waisted compression garments with a wide waistband, as they contribute to the stability and strength of your torso, which is vital in preventing injuries. By promoting stability and offering support to the abdomen, these garments also aid in preventing chafing and can boost your confidence, allowing you to elevate your performance.
In recent years we’ve definitely seen a shift in the fashion industry, with influencers and celebrities placing pressure on the high street to make plus-size fashion more accessible for all. Nowadays, Sportswear is highly demanding as demonstrated by plus size UK influencers.
The advantages of wearing supportive sportswear
The support provided by activewear has a tangible influence on your sports performance and how your body reacts to exercise. It’s no wonder that many women opt for activewear as their everyday clothing choice.
The incorporation of compression panels in clothing such as high-waisted underwear or leggings can enhance your posture. Maintaining a strong and stable posture is crucial during physical activities to prevent injuries. Whether you engage in sports like tennis, running, or weightlifting, having adequate support around your torso can significantly benefit you.
The crucial aspect of effective sportswear is its ability to provide comfort. It is important to ensure that your sportswear does not constrict your breathing. To find comfortable and supportive garments, opt for those with extended panels made of lightweight fabrics that wick away moisture. These fabrics are not only lightweight but also provide support to your body while minimising the risk of chafing. Additionally, an increasing number of garments are being designed without hems, allowing them to sit smoothly against your skin without causing any discomfort.
Compression is commonly utilised in shapewear to create a desired figure, but in the context of sportswear, it can actually improve your performance. Whether it’s in the form of socks or leggings, compression technology promotes better blood circulation to targeted areas like your legs. This increased blood flow intensifies your exercise routine and contributes to faster recovery.
The finest athletic attire should not only prioritise fashion and technology. Its primary function is to provide stability to your core, enabling you to engage in activities comfortably and confidently. This underscores the significance of support, which is crucial not just during physical exertion but also in day-to-day life.
Exploring Alternative Sentencing Options: Understanding the Potential for No Jail Time in 2nd Offense DWI Cases in Texas:
While Texas has some of the most drunk drivers in the country, the state also has some of the strictest DWI penalties. Despite how common a Texas DWI and 2nd DWI can be (with over 30% of DWI convicts reoffending), a 2nd DWI conviction will land you at least 72 hours in county jail and possibly even a year. Although many will agree that the punishment fits the crime, a 2nd DWI charge can be a telltale sign of alcohol addiction, and can often require rehabilitation that a jail sentence cannot offer. Luckily enough, there are several ways you can avoid a conviction for a 2nd DWI in Texas to receive no jail time and focus on your rehabilitation.
An Expert DWI Attorney:
Since mandatory jail time can only be avoided by avoiding conviction, a skilled DWI attorney is crucial to any option you explore. A 2nd DWI charge requires the same amount of evidence as a 1st DWI charge, and can often be defended with the same tactics. Depending on the circumstances of your case, a DWI attorney may be able to scrutinize a field sobriety test, the administration of a breathalyzer test, or the constitutionality of a traffic stop. Always inquire about the potential for a successful defense before you set your mind on other options, as dismissal or acquittal is the only way to circumvent all penalties of a 2nd DWI in Texas no jail time. If an expert attorney determines that your case won’t fare well at trial they can petition for probation or a DWI court to proceed over your case, or negotiate a plea for you.
Many of Texas’ major cities offer a DWI court program as a way to avoid jail for DWI 2nd offenders or defendants who show signs of alcoholism. DWI court is similar to probation but heavily emphasizes rehabilitation. A program will typically involve common aspects of community supervision, routine attendance at outpatient programs, and meetings between you, a judge, a probation officer, and a counselor. If you do not abide by the court’s rules or mandatory programs your case can go back to court and you will likely go to jail. A DWI court program is at least a year, but the length and regimen can be augmented depending on a defendant’s progress. Upon a judge “graduating” you from DWI court your sentence will be fulfilled. DWI court not only allows you to avoid jail time but is known to reduce DWI recidivism rates by as much as 12%.
With Texas’ criminal justice system being notoriously arduous, nearly 30% of all DWIs are reduced to lesser charges to avoid the hassle of a trial. In cases without aggravating factors such as an enhanced blood alcohol concentration, a child passenger, or an accident, a 2nd DWI charge can be bargained down to a minimum sentence or reduced charges. To be considered for a plea deal, a defendant will usually have to show personal growth and remorse. This is typically done by issuing a statement to the court, installing an ignition interlock in your vehicle, or attending DWI education courses or outpatient. If you plea to a minimum sentence you will likely still face 72 hours in jail and probation. While it’s uncommon for a 2nd DWI plea deal in Texas to receive no jail time, this is not impossible if your charges are reduced to reckless driving or obstruction of a highway.
Don’t Drink and Drive:
72 hours in jail is considered the mandatory minimum sentence for a 2nd DWI conviction and those facing charges are unlikely to see no jail time. The only guaranteed way to avoid jail is to avoid drinking and driving. With a drunk driving fatality occurring every 8.5 hours in Texas and over 10% of Texans reporting involvement in a drunk driving crash sometime in their lives, don’t fall under the impression that you are immune to the consequences of a DWI. Always make sure that you have a designated driver or extra money for an Uber when you go out drinking, it can save someone’s life and protect your future.
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