Discovering Language Model Behaviors with Model-Written Evaluations

Ethan Perez, Sam Ringer, Kamilė Lukošiūtė, Karina Nguyen, Edwin Chen, Scott Heiner, Craig Pettit, Catherine Olsson, Sandipan Kundu, Saurav Kadavath, Andy Jones, Anna Chen, Ben Mann, Brian Israel, Bryan Seethor, Cameron McKinnon, Christopher Olah, Da Yan, Daniela Amodei, Dario AmodeiDawn Drain, Dustin Li, Eli Tran-Johnson, Guro Khundadze, Jackson Kernion, James Landis, Jamie Kerr, Jared Mueller, Jeeyoon Hyun, Joshua Landau, Kamal Ndousse, Landon Goldberg, Liane Lovitt, Martin Lucas, Michael Sellitto, Miranda Zhang, Neerav Kingsland, Nelson Elhage, Nicholas Joseph, Noemí Mercado, Nova DasSarma, Oliver Rausch, Robin Larson, Sam McCandlish, Scott Johnston, Shauna Kravec, Sheer El Showk, Tamera Lanham, Timothy Telleen-Lawton, Tom Brown, Tom Henighan, Tristan Hume, Yuntao Bai, Zac Hatfield-Dodds, Jack Clark, Samuel R. Bowman, Amanda Askell, Roger Grosse, Danny Hernandez, Deep Ganguli, Evan Hubinger, Nicholas Schiefer, Jared Kaplan Anthropic, A. I. Surge

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


    As language models (LMs) scale, they develop many novel behaviors, good and bad, exacerbating the need to evaluate how they behave. Prior work creates evaluations with crowdwork (which is time-consuming and expensive) or existing data sources (which are not always available). Here, we automatically generate evaluations with LMs. We explore approaches with varying amounts of human effort, from instructing LMs to write yes/no questions to making complex Winogender schemas with multiple stages of LM-based generation and filtering. Crowdworkers rate the examples as highly relevant and agree with 90-100% of labels, sometimes more so than corresponding human-written datasets. We generate 154 datasets and discover new cases of inverse scaling where LMs get worse with size. Larger LMs repeat back a dialog user's preferred answer (“sycophancy”) and express greater desire to pursue concerning goals like resource acquisition and goal preservation. We also find some of the first examples of inverse scaling in RL from Human Feedback (RLHF), where more RLHF makes LMs worse. For example, RLHF makes LMs express stronger political views (on gun rights and immigration) and a greater desire to avoid shut down. Overall, LM-written evaluations are high-quality and let us quickly discover many novel LM behaviors.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Title of host publicationFindings of the Association for Computational Linguistics, ACL 2023
    PublisherAssociation for Computational Linguistics (ACL)
    Number of pages48
    ISBN (Electronic)9781959429623
    StatePublished - 2023
    Event61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics, ACL 2023 - Toronto, Canada
    Duration: Jul 9 2023Jul 14 2023

    Publication series

    NameProceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics
    ISSN (Print)0736-587X


    Conference61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics, ACL 2023

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Computer Science Applications
    • Linguistics and Language
    • Language and Linguistics


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