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Frontier AI Models

by Stephen M. Walker II, Co-Founder / CEO

Frontier AI Models: An Overview

Frontier AI models represent the cutting edge of artificial intelligence technology, pushing the boundaries of what AI can achieve. These models are characterized by their advanced capabilities, often surpassing the performance of existing models in a wide range of tasks. The term "frontier AI" encompasses both foundational models and general-purpose AI (GPAI), distinguishing them from narrow AI systems that are designed for specific tasks.

Frontier AI Model Leaderboard

This leaderboard represents the top frontier models in the world as of March 4, 2024. It represents the very best in state of the art capabilities and research.

OrganizationModel SeriesCapabilitiesRelease DateContext LengthMMLU ScoreMT-benchGSM8K
OpenAIGPT-4Language, VisionApril 2023128k86.49.3292%
GoogleGemini 1.5Language, VisionFebruary 20241.5M83.7-94.4%
Mistral AIMistral LargeLanguageFebruary 202432k81.28.6181%
AnthropicClaude 3Language, VisionMarch 2024200k86.88.1888%
InflectionInflection-2LanguageNovember 20231k79.6-81.4%
xAIGrok 1LanguageNovember 20238k73-62.9%

Characteristics and Challenges

Frontier AI models are highly capable foundation models that could possess dangerous capabilities sufficient to pose severe risks to public safety. These models can perform a broad spectrum of tasks, including language and image processing, and often serve as platforms for further application development by other developers. The development of such models involves significant computational resources and financial investment, typically in the hundreds of millions of dollars, limiting their creation to well-resourced companies.

The regulation and safe deployment of frontier AI models present distinct challenges:

  • Unexpected Capabilities: The capabilities of new AI models are not reliably predictable and can emerge or significantly improve suddenly. This unpredictability means that dangerous capabilities could arise unexpectedly, necessitating intensive testing and evaluation.
  • Deployment Safety: AI systems can cause harm even if neither the user nor the developer intends them to. Controlling AI models’ behavior remains a largely unsolved technical problem, and attempts to prevent misuse at the model level have been circumventable.
  • Proliferation: Frontier AI models are more difficult to train than to use, making non-proliferation essential for safety. The ease of accessing or introducing dangerous capabilities, especially when models are open-sourced, complicates efforts to ensure safety.

Regulatory Approaches and Safety Standards

To address these challenges, a multifaceted approach to regulation is proposed, including:

  • Standard-Setting Processes: Identifying appropriate requirements for frontier AI developers to ensure safety and compliance.
  • Registration and Reporting Requirements: Providing regulators with visibility into frontier AI development processes.
  • Compliance Mechanisms: Ensuring adherence to safety standards through government intervention, potentially involving licensure regimes for the development and deployment of frontier AI models.

Proposed safety standards include conducting pre-deployment risk assessments, engaging external experts for independent scrutiny, and monitoring model capabilities and uses post-deployment.

Collaborative Efforts for Safe Development

The Frontier Model Forum exemplifies collaborative efforts to advance AI safety research, identify best practices, and support the development of applications addressing societal challenges. This forum draws on the expertise of member companies to benefit the entire AI ecosystem, emphasizing the importance of cross-sector collaboration.

Frontier AI models represent a significant advancement in AI technology, offering the potential for substantial benefits across various domains. However, their development and deployment come with unique challenges that necessitate careful regulation and collaboration among stakeholders. Addressing these challenges is crucial for harnessing the benefits of frontier AI while mitigating risks to public safety and ensuring responsible innovation.

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