AI language fashions can exceed PNG and FLAC in lossless compression, says examine

Photo of a C-clamp compressing books.

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Efficient compression is about discovering patterns to make knowledge smaller with out dropping info. When an algorithm or mannequin can precisely guess the subsequent piece of knowledge in a sequence, it reveals it is good at recognizing these patterns. This hyperlinks the concept of creating good guesses—which is what giant language fashions like GPT-Four do very effectively—to attaining good compression.

In an arXiv analysis paper titled “Language Modeling Is Compression,” researchers element their discovery that the DeepMind giant language mannequin (LLM) known as Chinchilla 70B can carry out lossless compression on picture patches from the ImageNet picture database to 43.Four p.c of their unique measurement, beating the PNG algorithm, which compressed the identical knowledge to 58.5 p.c. For audio, Chinchilla compressed samples from the LibriSpeech audio knowledge set to only 16.Four p.c of their uncooked measurement, outdoing FLAC compression at 30.three p.c.

On this case, decrease numbers within the outcomes imply extra compression is going down. And lossless compression implies that no knowledge is misplaced in the course of the compression course of. It stands in distinction to a lossy compression approach like JPEG, which sheds some knowledge and reconstructs a few of the knowledge with approximations in the course of the decoding course of to considerably scale back file sizes.

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