Can you tell us a little bit about Exfluency and what the company does?
Exfluency is a tech company providing hybrid intelligence solutions for multilingual communication. By harnessing AI and blockchain technology we provide tech-savvy companies with access to modern language tools. Our goal is to make linguistic assets as precious as any other corporate asset.
What tech trends have you noticed developing in the multilingual communication space?
As in every other walk of life, AI in general and ChatGPT specifically is dominating the agenda. Companies operating in the language space are either panicking or scrambling to play catch-up. The main challenge is the size of the tech deficit in this vertical. Innovation and, more especially AI-innovation is not a plug-in.
What are some of the benefits of using LLMs?
Off the shelf LLMs (ChatGPT, Bard, etc.) have a quick-fix attraction. Magically, it seems, well formulated answers appear on your screen. One cannot fail to be impressed.
The true benefits of LLMs will be realised by the players who can provide immutable data with which feed the models. They are what we feed them.
What do LLMs rely on when learning language?
Overall, LLMs learn language by analysing vast amounts of text data, understanding patterns and relationships, and using statistical methods to generate contextually appropriate responses. Their ability to generalise from data and generate coherent text makes them versatile tools for various language-related tasks.
Large Language Models (LLMs) like GPT-4 rely on a combination of data, pattern recognition, and statistical relationships to learn language. Here are the key components they rely on:
- Data: LLMs are trained on vast amounts of text data from the internet. This data includes a wide range of sources, such as books, articles, websites, and more. The diverse nature of the data helps the model learn a wide variety of language patterns, styles, and topics.
- Patterns and Relationships: LLMs learn language by identifying patterns and relationships within the data. They analyze the co-occurrence of words, phrases, and sentences to understand how they fit together grammatically and semantically.
- Statistical Learning: LLMs use statistical techniques to learn the probabilities of word sequences. They estimate the likelihood of a word appearing given the previous words in a sentence. This enables them to generate coherent and contextually relevant text.
- Contextual Information: LLMs focus on contextual understanding. They consider not only the preceding words but also the entire context of a sentence or passage. This contextual information helps them disambiguate words with multiple meanings and produce more accurate and contextually appropriate responses.
- Attention Mechanisms: Many LLMs, including GPT-4, employ attention mechanisms. These mechanisms allow the model to weigh the importance of different words in a sentence based on the context. This helps the model focus on relevant information while generating responses.
- Transfer Learning: LLMs use a technique called transfer learning. They are pretrained on a large dataset and then fine-tuned on specific tasks. This allows the model to leverage its broad language knowledge from pretraining while adapting to perform specialised tasks like translation, summarisation, or conversation.
- Encoder-Decoder Architecture: In certain tasks like translation or summarisation, LLMs use an encoder-decoder architecture. The encoder processes the input text and converts it into a context-rich representation, which the decoder then uses to generate the output text in the desired language or format.
- Feedback Loop: LLMs can learn from user interactions. When a user provides corrections or feedback on generated text, the model can adjust its responses based on that feedback over time, improving its performance.
What are some of the challenges of using LLMs?
A fundamental issue, which has been there ever since we started giving away data to Google, Facebook and the like, is that “we” are the product. The big players are earning untold billions on our rush to feed their apps with our data. ChatGPT, for example, is enjoying the fastest growing onboarding in history. Just think how Microsoft has benefitted from the millions of prompts people have already thrown at it.
The open LLMs hallucinate and, because answers to prompts are so well formulated, one can be easily duped into believing what they tell you.
And to make matters worse, there are no references/links to tell you from where they sourced their answers.
How can these challenges be overcome?
LLMs are what we feed them. Blockchain technology allows us to create an immutable audit trail and with it immutable, clean data. No need to trawl the internet. In this manner we are in complete control of what data is going in, can keep it confidential, and support it with a wealth of useful meta data. It can also be multilingual!
Secondly, as this data is stored in our databases, we can also provide the necessary source links. If you can’t quite believe the answer to your prompt, open the source data directly to see who wrote it, when, in which language and which context.
What advice would you give to companies that want to utilise private, anonymised LLMs for multilingual communication?
Make sure your data is immutable, multilingual, of a high quality – and stored for your eyes only. LLMs then become a true game changer.
What do you think the future holds for multilingual communication?
As in many other walks of life, language will embrace forms of hybrid intelligence. For example, in the Exfluency ecosystem, the AI-driven workflow takes care of 90% of the translation – our fantastic bilingual subject matter experts then only need to focus on the final 10%. This balance will change over time – AI will take an ever-increasing proportion of the workload. But the human input will remain crucial. The concept is encapsulated in our strapline: Powered by technology, perfected by people.
What plans does Exfluency have for the coming year?
Lots! We aim to roll out the tech to new verticals and build communities of SMEs to serve them. There is also great interest in our Knowledge Mining app, designed to leverage the information hidden away in the millions of linguistic assets. 2024 is going to be exciting!
- Jaromir Dzialo is the co-founder and CTO of Exfluency, which offers affordable AI-powered language and security solutions with global talent networks for organisations of all sizes.
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