until LLM Bootcamp: In-Person (Seattle) and Online Learn more

Selective prediction – Enhance the accuracy of large language models

January 24, 2024

Large language models (LLMs) are a fascinating aspect of machine learning.

Regarding selective prediction in large language models, it refers to the model’s ability to generate specific predictions or responses based on the given input.

This means that the model can focus on certain aspects of the input text to make more relevant or context-specific predictions. For example, if asked a question, the model will selectively predict an answer relevant to that question, ignoring unrelated information.


They function by employing deep learning techniques and analyzing vast datasets of text. Here’s a simple breakdown of how they work:

  1. Architecture: LLMs use a transformer architecture, which is highly effective in handling sequential data like language. This architecture allows the model to consider the context of each word in a sentence, enabling more accurate predictions and the generation of text.
  2. Training: They are trained on enormous amounts of text data. During this process, the model learns patterns, structures, and nuances of human language. This training involves predicting the next word in a sentence or filling in missing words, thereby understanding language syntax and semantics.
  3. Capabilities: Once trained, LLMs can perform a variety of tasks such as translation, summarization, question answering, and content generation. They can understand and generate text in a way that is remarkably similar to human language.


Learn to build LLM applications


How selective predictions work in LLMs

Selective prediction in the context of large language models (LLMs) is a technique aimed at enhancing the reliability and accuracy of the model’s outputs. Here’s how it works in detail:

  1. Decision to Predict or Abstain: At its core, selective prediction involves the model making a choice about whether to make a prediction or to abstain from doing so. This decision is based on the model’s confidence in its ability to provide a correct or relevant answer.
  2. Improving Reliability: By allowing LLMs to abstain from making predictions in cases where they are unsure, selective prediction improves the overall reliability of the model. This is crucial in applications where providing incorrect information can have serious consequences.
  3. Self-Evaluation: Some selective prediction techniques involve self-evaluation mechanisms. These allow the model to assess its own predictions and decide whether they are likely to be accurate or not. For example, experiments with models like PaLM-2 and GPT-3 have shown that self-evaluation-based scores can improve accuracy and correlation with correct answers.
  4. Advanced Techniques like ASPIRE: Google’s ASPIRE framework is an example of an advanced approach to selective prediction. It enhances the ability of LLMs to make more confident predictions by effectively assessing when to predict and when to withhold a response.
  5. Selective Prediction in Applications: This technique can be particularly useful in applications like conformal prediction, multi-choice question answering, and filtering out low-quality predictions. It ensures that the model provides responses only when it has a high degree of confidence, thereby reducing the risk of disseminating incorrect information.


Large language model bootcamp


Here’s how it works and improves response quality:


Imagine using a language model for a task like answering trivia questions. The LLM is prompted with a question: “What is the capital of France?” Normally, the model would generate a response based on its training.

However, with selective prediction, the model first evaluates its confidence in its knowledge about the answer. If it’s highly confident (knowing that Paris is the capital), it proceeds with the response. If not, it may abstain from answering or express uncertainty rather than providing a potentially incorrect answer.



Improvement in response quality:

  1. Reduces Misinformation: By abstaining from answering when uncertain, selective prediction minimizes the risk of spreading incorrect information.
  2. Enhances Reliability: It improves the overall reliability of the model by ensuring that responses are given only when the model has high confidence in their accuracy.
  3. Better User Trust: Users can trust the model more, knowing that it avoids guessing when unsure, leading to higher quality and more dependable interactions.

Selective prediction, therefore, plays a vital role in enhancing the quality and reliability of responses in real-world applications of LLMs.


ASPIRE framework for selective predictions

The ASPIRE framework, particularly in the context of selective prediction for Large Language Models (LLMs), is a sophisticated process designed to enhance the model’s prediction capabilities. It comprises three main stages:

  1. Task-Specific Tuning: In this initial stage, the LLM is fine-tuned for specific tasks. This means adjusting the model’s parameters and training it on data relevant to the tasks it will perform. This step ensures that the model is well-prepared and specialized for the type of predictions it will make.
  2. Answer Sampling: After tuning, the LLM engages in answer sampling. Here, the model generates multiple potential answers or responses to a given input. This process allows the model to explore a range of possible predictions rather than settle on the first plausible option.
  3. Self-Evaluation Learning: The final stage involves self-evaluation learning. The model evaluates the generated answers from the previous stage, assessing their quality and relevance. It learns to identify which answers are most likely to be correct or useful based on its training and the specific context of the question or task.


three stages of aspire




Helping businesses with informed decision-making

Businesses and industries can greatly benefit from adopting selective prediction frameworks like ASPIRE in several ways:

  1. Enhanced Decision Making: By using selective prediction, businesses can make more informed decisions. The framework’s focus on task-specific tuning and self-evaluation allows for more accurate predictions, which is crucial in strategic planning and market analysis.
  2. Risk Management: Selective prediction helps in identifying and mitigating risks. By accurately predicting market trends and customer behavior, businesses can proactively address potential challenges.
  3. Efficiency in Operations: In industries such as manufacturing, selective prediction can optimize supply chain management and production processes. This leads to reduced waste and increased efficiency.
  4. Improved Customer Experience: In service-oriented sectors, predictive frameworks can enhance customer experience by personalizing services and anticipating customer needs more accurately.
  5. Innovation and Competitiveness: Selective prediction aids in fostering innovation by identifying new market opportunities and trends. This helps businesses stay competitive in their respective industries.
  6. Cost Reduction: By making more accurate predictions, businesses can reduce costs associated with trial and error and inefficient processes.


Learn more about how DALLE, GPT 3, and MuseNet are reshaping industries.


Enhance trust with LLMs

Selective prediction frameworks like ASPIRE offer businesses and industries a strategic advantage by enhancing decision-making, improving operational efficiency, managing risks, fostering innovation, and ultimately leading to cost savings.

Overall, the ASPIRE framework is designed to refine the predictive capabilities of LLMs, making them more accurate and reliable by focusing on task-specific tuning, exploratory answer generation, and self-assessment of generated responses

In summary, selective prediction in LLMs is about the model’s ability to judge its own certainty and decide when to provide a response. This enhances the trustworthiness and applicability of LLMs in various domains.

Newsletters | Data Science Dojo
Up for a Weekly Dose of Data Science?

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter & stay up-to-date with current data science news, blogs, and resources.

Data Science Dojo | data science for everyone

Discover more from Data Science Dojo

Subscribe to get the latest updates on AI, Data Science, LLMs, and Machine Learning.