Maintainer: google

Total Score


Last updated 5/17/2024

Model LinkView on HuggingFace
API SpecView on HuggingFace
Github LinkNo Github link provided
Paper LinkNo paper link provided

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Model Overview

UL2 is a unified framework for pre-training models developed by Google that aims to create universally effective models across diverse datasets and setups. It uses a "Mixture-of-Denoisers" (MoD) pre-training objective that combines various pre-training paradigms, such as regular span corruption, sequential denoising, and extreme denoising. This allows the model to be exposed to a diverse set of problems during pre-training, enabling it to learn a more general and robust representation.

The UL2 model was further fine-tuned and released as Flan-UL2, which addressed some of the limitations of the original UL2 model. Specifically, the Flan-UL2 model uses a larger receptive field of 2048 tokens, making it more suitable for few-shot in-context learning tasks. It also no longer requires the use of mode switch tokens, simplifying the model's inference and fine-tuning.

Compared to other large language models like T5 and GPT-3, the Flan-UL2 model was found to outperform them across a wide range of supervised NLP tasks, including language generation, language understanding, text classification, question answering, commonsense reasoning, and more. It also achieved strong results in in-context learning, outperforming GPT-3 on zero-shot SuperGLUE and tripling the performance of T5-XXL on one-shot summarization.

Model Inputs and Outputs


  • Text: The model takes text as input, which can be in the form of a single sentence, a paragraph, or multiple sentences.


  • Text: The model generates text as output, which can be in the form of a continuation of the input text, a response to a query, or a summary of the input text.


The Flan-UL2 model has shown impressive performance across a wide range of NLP tasks, demonstrating its versatility and generalization capabilities. For example, the model has been shown to excel at language generation, where it outperforms GPT-3 on zero-shot SuperGLUE and triples the performance of T5-XXL on one-shot summarization.

Additionally, the model has demonstrated strong performance on tasks such as language understanding, text classification, question answering, and commonsense reasoning. This makes the Flan-UL2 model a powerful tool for a variety of natural language processing applications, from chatbots and virtual assistants to content generation and question-answering systems.

What Can I Use It For?

The Flan-UL2 model can be used for a wide range of natural language processing tasks, including:

  • Text Generation: The model can be used to generate coherent and contextually relevant text, such as article summaries, product descriptions, or creative writing.
  • Question Answering: The model can be used to answer questions based on provided context, making it useful for building knowledge-based chatbots or virtual assistants.
  • Text Classification: The model can be used to classify text into various categories, such as sentiment analysis, topic classification, or intent detection.
  • Commonsense Reasoning: The model's strong performance on commonsense reasoning tasks makes it useful for applications that require an understanding of the real world, such as conversational AI or task-oriented dialogue systems.

To use the Flan-UL2 model, you can fine-tune it on your specific task and dataset using the provided Flan-UL2 model on the Hugging Face Model Hub.

Things to Try

One interesting aspect of the Flan-UL2 model is its use of "mode switching," where the model associates specific pre-training schemes with downstream fine-tuning tasks. This allows the model to adapt its internal representations to best suit the task at hand, potentially leading to improved performance.

To explore this feature, you could try fine-tuning the Flan-UL2 model on a variety of tasks and observe how the model's performance changes compared to fine-tuning a more traditional language model like BERT or GPT. Additionally, you could experiment with different fine-tuning techniques, such as prompt engineering or few-shot learning, to leverage the model's strong in-context learning capabilities.

Another area to explore is the model's multilingual capabilities. As a unified model trained on a diverse set of languages, the Flan-UL2 model may be able to perform well on cross-lingual tasks or transfer learning scenarios. You could try fine-tuning the model on multilingual datasets or evaluating its performance on tasks that require understanding multiple languages.

Overall, the Flan-UL2 model represents a promising step towards developing more versatile and effective language models, and there are many interesting avenues to explore in terms of its capabilities and applications.

This summary was produced with help from an AI and may contain inaccuracies - check out the links to read the original source documents!

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flan-ul2 is an encoder-decoder model based on the T5 architecture, developed by Google. It uses the same configuration as the earlier UL2 model, but with some key improvements. Unlike the original UL2 model which had a receptive field of only 512, flan-ul2 has a receptive field of 2048, making it more suitable for few-shot in-context learning tasks. Additionally, the flan-ul2 checkpoint does not require the use of mode switch tokens, which were previously necessary to achieve good performance. The flan-ul2 model was fine-tuned using the "Flan" prompt tuning approach and a curated dataset. This process aimed to improve the model's few-shot abilities compared to the original UL2 model. Similar models include the flan-t5-xxl and flan-t5-base models, which were also fine-tuned on a broad range of tasks. Model inputs and outputs Inputs Text**: The model accepts natural language text as input, which can be in the form of a single sentence, a paragraph, or a longer passage. Outputs Text**: The model generates natural language text as output, which can be used for tasks such as language translation, summarization, question answering, and more. Capabilities The flan-ul2 model is capable of a wide range of text-to-text tasks, including translation, summarization, and question answering. Its improved receptive field and removal of mode switch tokens make it better suited for few-shot learning compared to the original UL2 model. What can I use it for? The flan-ul2 model can be used as a foundation for various natural language processing applications, such as building chatbots, content generation tools, and personalized language assistants. Its few-shot learning capabilities make it a promising candidate for research into in-context learning and zero-shot task generalization. Things to try Experiment with using the flan-ul2 model for few-shot learning tasks, where you provide the model with a small number of examples to guide its understanding of a new task or problem. Additionally, you could fine-tune the model on a specific domain or dataset to further enhance its performance for your particular use case.

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