Simon Willison’s Weblog


Tuesday, 28th May 2024

Weeknotes: PyCon US 2024

Earlier this month I attended PyCon US 2024 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I gave an invited keynote on the Saturday morning titled “Imitation intelligence”, tying together much of what I’ve learned about Large Language Models over the past couple of years and making the case that the Python community has a unique opportunity and responsibility to help try to nudge this technology in a positive direction.

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Reproducing GPT-2 (124M) in llm.c in 90 minutes for $20 (via) GPT-2 124M was the smallest model in the GPT-2 series released by OpenAI back in 2019. Andrej Karpathy's llm.c is an evolving 4,000 line C/CUDA implementation which can now train a GPT-2 model from scratch in 90 minutes against a 8X A100 80GB GPU server. This post walks through exactly how to run the training, using 10 billion tokens of FineWeb.

Andrej notes that this isn't actually that far off being able to train a GPT-3:

Keep in mind that here we trained for 10B tokens, while GPT-3 models were all trained for 300B tokens. [...] GPT-3 actually didn't change too much at all about the model (context size 1024 -> 2048, I think that's it?).

Estimated cost for a GPT-3 ADA (350M parameters)? About $2,000. # 7:47 pm

Pyodide 0.26 Release (via) PyOdide provides Python packaged for browser WebAssembly alongside an ecosystem of additional tools and libraries to help Python and JavaScript work together.

The latest release bumps the Python version up to 3.12, and also adds support for pygame-ce, allowing games written using pygame to run directly in the browser.

The PyOdide community also just landed a 14-month-long PR adding support to cibuildwheel, which should make it easier to ship binary wheels targeting PyOdide. # 7:04 pm