Simon Willison’s Weblog


Monday, 11th December 2023

gpt-4-turbo over the API produces (statistically significant) shorter completions when it “thinks” its December vs. when it thinks its May (as determined by the date in the system prompt).

I took the same exact prompt over the API (a code completion task asking to implement a machine learning task without libraries).

I created two system prompts, one that told the API it was May and another that it was December and then compared the distributions.

For the May system prompt, mean = 4298
For the December system prompt, mean = 4086

N = 477 completions in each sample from May and December

t-test p < 2.28e-07

Rob Lynch # 7:45 pm

Database generated columns: GeoDjango & PostGIS. Paolo Melchiorre advocated for the inclusion of generated columns, one of the biggest features in Django 5.0. Here he provides a detailed tutorial showing how they can be used with PostGIS to create database tables that offer columns such as geohash that are automatically calculated from other columns in the table. # 7:14 pm

Mixtral of experts (via) Mistral have firmly established themselves as the most exciting AI lab outside of OpenAI, arguably more exciting because much of their work is released under open licenses.

On December 8th they tweeted a link to a torrent, with no additional context (a neat marketing trick they’ve used in the past). The 87GB torrent contained a new model, Mixtral-8x7b-32kseqlen—a Mixture of Experts.

Three days later they published a full write-up, describing “Mixtral 8x7B, a high-quality sparse mixture of experts model (SMoE) with open weights”—licensed Apache 2.0.

They claim “Mixtral outperforms Llama 2 70B on most benchmarks with 6x faster inference”—and that it outperforms GPT-3.5 on most benchmarks too.

This isn’t even their current best model. The new Mistral API platform (currently on a waitlist) refers to Mixtral as “Mistral-small” (and their previous 7B model as “Mistral-tiny”—and also provides access to a currently closed model, “Mistral-medium”, which they claim to be competitive with GPT-4. # 5:20 pm

2023 » December