An Open Source Chatbot ‘Blender’ Launched By Facebook

Facebook’s blog noted that Facebook AI has built an open-sourced Blender which is the largest, open domain char bot. The bit has been trained on 9.4 billion parameters that is nearly 4 times that of Google’s Meena and around 10 times as many as the previous largest OS chatbot that’s available on the internet.

It’s stated by Facebook that Blender is the first chatbot that would be building a diverse set of controversial skills that of empathy, knowledge and sympathy in one system. In terms of engagement, it feels ‘more human’ as per human evaluators, as written by the blog. The blog has been designed in such a way that it can assume a persona, discuss any other topic, and show natural sympathy. 

The chatbot uses previously available public domain conversations that have around 1.5 billion training examples of extracted conversations. Facebook had stated that their neutral networks are too large to fit on to a single device, thus they utlised techniques like column-wise model parallelism, which allows one to neutral network into smaller, more manageable pieces while maintaining maximum efficiency. 

A research engineer at Facebook, Stephen Roller told a national publication that there are a lot of sophisticated techniques that one has to use in terms of how one can chop things up. If one decides to split it over different devices and chop it the wrong way, then one is going to lose the efficiency that was there once, and that can’t be scaled when compared to such humungous data sets. 

Facebook also said that it has introduced Blended Skill Task (BST) that is used for training and evaluating desirable skills like that of the use of personality, knowledge and lack of empathy. Facebook notes that in order to make sure that controversial agents don’t repeat themselves or display shortcomings, researchers normally use a number of possible generation strategies after the model is being trained. 

In order to test the bot, it was kept against Meena, Google’s chatbot that has not been released yet. It’s even mentioned in the blog that human evaluators were being shown a series of dialogues between humans paired with each respective chatbot. Some evaluators concluded that Blender sounds better than humans. 


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