Emergent Mind

Abstract

Large language models are commonly trained on a mixture of filtered web data and curated high-quality corpora, such as social media conversations, books, or technical papers. This curation process is believed to be necessary to produce performant models with broad zero-shot generalization abilities. However, as larger models requiring pretraining on trillions of tokens are considered, it is unclear how scalable is curation and whether we will run out of unique high-quality data soon. At variance with previous beliefs, we show that properly filtered and deduplicated web data alone can lead to powerful models; even significantly outperforming models from the state-of-the-art trained on The Pile. Despite extensive filtering, the high-quality data we extract from the web is still plentiful, and we are able to obtain five trillion tokens from CommonCrawl. We publicly release an extract of 600 billion tokens from our RefinedWeb dataset, and 1.3/7.5B parameters language models trained on it.

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