Fine Tuning in Generative AI: How it Can Help in Application Development?

  • Aswathy AAswathy A
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • a month ago
Fine Tuning in Generative AI For Application Development

Generative AI has recently gained significant attention for its ability to autonomously create high-quality text, images, audio, and other content, finding applications in fields like content creation, healthcare, and finance. Businesses have seen a rise in revenue of about 6-10% from adopting AI. While generative AI can automate repetitive tasks and enhance decision-making in business, creating models that produce coherent and contextually relevant outputs remains challenging. Pre-trained models on vast data sets offer a solution by generating human-like text. However, to optimize performance for specific applications, fine-tuning is necessary.

This discussion will explore why fine-tuning is important and delve into various fine-tuning techniques such as PEFT Fine-tuning, LoRa Fine-tuning, and Q-LoRa Fine-tuning. We'll also examine how fine-tuning can enhance application development and compare the performance of generative AI with and without fine-tuning through a detailed case study.


Why is Fine-Tuning Important?

Fine-tuning a pre-trained model involves optimizing its performance for a new or different task by tailoring it to specific needs or domains, such as cancer detection in healthcare. This technique leverages large amounts of labeled data to train the model for tasks like Natural Language Processing (NLP) or image classification. Once fine-tuned, the model can be applied to similar new tasks or datasets with limited labeled data.

Fine-tuning pre-trained models for generative AI applications offers several benefits:

  • Efficiency: Pre-trained models eliminate the need to train a model from scratch, saving significant time and resources.
  • Customization: Fine-tuning allows for the adaptation of pre-trained models to industry-specific use cases, enhancing performance and accuracy, especially for niche applications requiring domain-specific data or specialized knowledge.
  • Improved Interpretation: Since pre-trained models have already learned underlying patterns in the data, fine-tuning them facilitates easier identification and interpretation of outputs.

Commonly used in transfer learning, fine-tuning allows a pre-trained model to be a starting point for training a new model on a related but distinct task. This approach significantly reduces the amount of labeled data needed, making it especially useful for functions where labeled data is scarce or costly.


What is PEFT Finetuning?

With the parameter count of large language models reaching trillions, fine-tuning the entire model has become computationally expensive and impractical. To address this, the focus has shifted to Parameter-Efficient Fine-Tuning (PEFT), an alternative to in-context learning. Unlike in-context learning, which uses prompts for each task but faces inefficiencies and inconsistent performance, PEFT fine-tunes only a tiny subset of the model's parameters. This approach achieves performance comparable to full fine-tuning while significantly reducing computational requirements.

PEFT is used in Natural Language Processing (NLP) to enhance the performance of pre-trained language models on specific downstream tasks. It works by reusing the pre-trained model's parameters and fine-tuning them on a smaller dataset, saving computational resources and time. This is done by freezing most of the model's layers and only fine-tuning the last few layers specific to the task. This method allows adaptation to new tasks with less computational overhead and fewer labeled examples, making it particularly effective in low-resource settings and reducing the risk of overfitting.


What is LoRa Fine Tuning?

LoRa, or Low-Rank Adaptation, is a technique to fine-tune large language models without updating the pre-trained weights, thereby avoiding catastrophic forgetting. Catastrophic forgetting occurs when a model forgets previously learned tasks upon learning new ones, which often happens when fine-tuning involves updating the actual weights. LoRa preserves the model's existing knowledge while adapting it to new functions by generating multiple low-rank matrices as proxies instead of high-rank ones. This method benefits complex models like large language models (LLMs) because it reduces computational requirements and prevents performance degradation due to information loss, making it less effective for smaller models.


What is Q-LoRa Fine Tuning?

QLoRa combines the principles of LoRa with quantization. Quantization reduces the precision of numerical representations of weights and activations, typically from 32-bit or 64-bit floating-point numbers to lower precision types like 16-bit floats or 8-bit integers. This significantly reduces the model size and computational resources needed, making it suitable for hardware with limited resources, such as mobile or edge devices. QLoRa applies LoRa techniques to a quantized LLM, thus achieving the benefits of LoRa while leveraging reduced precision efficiency. However, this approach may impact performance due to the information loss inherent in quantization.


How can Fine-tuning Help in Application Development?

Fine-tuning offers a versatile approach to enhancing pre-trained models for various application development needs:

1. Customizing Style

Fine-tuning allows models to reflect a brand's desired tone or behavioral patterns, from idiosyncratic illustration styles to simple modifications like polite salutations.  

2. Specialization

General linguistic abilities of large language models (LLMs) can be honed for specific tasks, such as chatbots or code generation, through variants like Meta's Llama-2-chat and Code Llama models.

3. Adding Domain-Specific Knowledge

Supplementing pre-trained models with additional training samples enhances their knowledge, which is vital in sectors like legal, financial, or medical fields, where specialized vocabulary is not adequately represented in pre-training data.

4. Few-Shot Learning

Models with generalized solid knowledge can be fine-tuned for specific classification tasks using relatively few demonstrative examples, facilitating rapid adaptation to new tasks.

5. Addressing Edge Cases

Fine-tuning enables models to handle rare or unexpected situations effectively by training them on labeled examples of such cases, ensuring robust performance in real-world scenarios.

6. Incorporating Proprietary Data

Fine-tuning allows the integration of proprietary data pipelines into models without training from scratch, leveraging a company's unique knowledge for enhanced performance in specific use cases.


Case Study: Generative AI with Fine-tuning vs Generative AI Without Fine-tuning: Comparison

Fine-tuning in generative AI presents a balanced approach between efficiency and performance enhancement, enabling the transformation of generalist models into specialists. While model training is the cornerstone of AI development, offering unparalleled customization and innovation potential, it demands substantial resources and carries inherent risks. Fine-tuning is particularly suitable for scenarios where the foundation is solid and specific expertise is required, offering a pragmatic solution for real-world application development in generative AI.


Generative AI with Fine-Tuning

Real-World Example: Enhancing OpenAI's GPT model for a cooking chatbot.

Initial State: The GPT model was trained on general texts across various domains.

Fine-Tuning Process: Training with a dataset rich in cooking instructions, recipes, and food-related queries.

Outcome: The fine-tuned model exhibits refined proficiency in culinary terms, cooking methods, and dietary preferences, enabling it to provide more accurate and contextually appropriate responses in culinary conversations.


Generative AI without Fine-Tuning

Real-World Example: Developing an AI model to predict unique weather patterns.

Initial State: Lack of pre-existing models for the specific geographic location's weather patterns.

Model Training Process: Training a new model using unique climatic data from scratch.

Outcome: The newly trained model provides tailored predictions for the specific geographic location, leveraging the uniqueness of the climatic data.



Efficiency: Fine-tuning offers a more efficient approach, utilizing existing models and enhancing them for specific tasks rather than training new models from scratch.

Performance: Fine-tuned models exhibit refined proficiency and contextuality in specialized tasks, while models trained from scratch may initially lack such specialization.

Resource Demands: Fine-tuning requires fewer computational resources and time than training new models from scratch, making it a more practical option for targeted improvements.



Fine-tuning adapts pre-trained models for specific tasks, leveraging prior knowledge to refine them with smaller, task-specific datasets. It's a subset of transfer learning that streamlines model customization without starting from scratch. Honing existing capabilities reduces computing power and labeled data requirements, which is especially beneficial for large models.

As we embrace this new era of technological innovation, choosing a partner who fully understands AI is essential. Cubet stands at the forefront of this technological shift, offering the expertise needed to integrate AI into your development process seamlessly. Discover how Cubet can elevate your projects by infusing them with generative AI.


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