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HellaSwag: Can a Machine Really Finish Your Sentence?

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

What is HellaSwag?

HellaSwag is an evaluation dataset designed for studying grounded commonsense inference, a task that is typically easy for humans but challenging for machines. HellaSwag is an acronym for Harder Endings, Longer contexts, and Low-shot Activities for Situations With Adversarial Generations.

The dataset consists of 70,000 multiple-choice questions about grounded situations. Each question originates from one of two domains: ActivityNet or WikiHow. The questions are followed by four answer choices about what might happen next in the scene. The correct answer is the real sentence for the next event, while the three incorrect answers are adversarially generated and human-verified, designed to fool machines but not humans.

The dataset is a challenging testbed for state-of-the-art Natural Language Inference (NLI) models, even those built on extensive pretraining. It tests a machine's ability to complete sentences in a way that makes sense. The construction of HellaSWAG and its resulting difficulty provide insights into the inner workings of deep pretrained models. It suggests a new path forward for NLP research, where benchmarks co-evolve with the evolving state-of-the-art in an adversarial way, presenting ever-harder challenges.

The HellaSwag dataset is available on platforms like TensorFlow and Kaggle, and it has been used by various teams to test their models, with a leaderboard maintained for the top-performing models.

The creators of HellaSwag intended it to push the field beyond static benchmarks towards evolving benchmarks. The idea is that as models improve, the benchmark evolves in an adversarial way to present ever-harder challenges, thus driving further progress in the field.

HellaSwag Leaderboard

RankModelOverall accuracyIn-domain category accuracyZero-shot category accuracyActivityNet accuracyWikiHow accuracy
1Human Performance95.695.695.79496.5
2OpenAI GPT-495.394.895.790.198
3Mistral 8x7B86.784.885.780.188
4RoBERTa85.287.383.174.690.9
8BERT-Large47.349.74551.745
9OpenAI GPT41.74439.343.840.5
10BERT-Base40.542.838.345.737.7

When HellaSwag was initially tested with state-of-the-art models like OpenAI GPT, BERT-Base, and BERT-Large, human accuracy was above 95%, while these models achieved accuracies below 50%. This discrepancy highlighted the difficulty machines have with commonsense inference and the need for more rigorous benchmarks in language model evaluation.

Key attributes of HellaSwag include:

  • Complexity — HellaSwag is a complex task that requires a deep understanding of the world and human behavior.

  • Predictive Ability — HellaSwag tests the AI model's ability to predict the ending of an incomplete narrative.

  • Understanding Human Behavior — HellaSwag requires the AI model to understand and predict human behavior.

HellaSwag is a key benchmark in the field of AI, particularly in the area of understanding and predicting human behavior. It's a challenging task that pushes the boundaries of what AI models are capable of.

How does HellaSwag work?

HellaSwag works by presenting an AI model with an incomplete narrative, either in video or text format. The model is then tasked with predicting the ending of the narrative. This requires a deep understanding of the world and human behavior.

The dataset consists of 70,000 multiple-choice questions about grounded situations, each with four answer choices. The questions come from two domains: ActivityNet and WikiHow. The correct answer is the real sentence for the next event, while the three incorrect answers are adversarially generated and human-verified to fool machines but not humans.

What are some common methods for implementing HellaSwag?

Common methods for implementing HellaSwag include:

  • Training AI models on large datasets — One common method for implementing HellaSwag is to train AI models on large datasets of video or text narratives. This allows the model to learn patterns and trends in human behavior, which can then be used to predict the ending of an incomplete narrative.

  • Using advanced AI techniques — Advanced AI techniques, such as deep learning and reinforcement learning, can be used to implement HellaSwag. These techniques allow the model to learn complex patterns and make accurate predictions.

These methods can be combined and adapted to suit the specific requirements of a given task or model architecture.

What are some benefits of HellaSwag?

Benefits of HellaSwag include:

  • Challenging Benchmark — HellaSwag provides a challenging benchmark for AI models, pushing the boundaries of what they are capable of.

  • Understanding Human Behavior — HellaSwag requires AI models to understand and predict human behavior, which is a complex and difficult task.

  • Predictive Ability — HellaSwag tests the AI model's ability to predict the ending of an incomplete narrative, which is a valuable skill in many applications.

What are some challenges associated with HellaSwag?

HellaSwag is a challenging benchmark for AI models that tests their ability to predict the ending of an incomplete narrative. This requires a deep understanding of the world and human behavior. However, there are several challenges associated with HellaSwag:

  • Complexity — HellaSwag is a complex task that requires a deep understanding of the world and human behavior. This makes it a challenging benchmark for AI models.

  • Predictive Ability — HellaSwag tests the AI model's ability to predict the ending of an incomplete narrative. This is a difficult task that requires the model to understand and predict human behavior.

  • Training Data — Training AI models for HellaSwag requires large datasets of video or text narratives. Collecting and processing this data can be a challenge.

Despite these challenges, HellaSwag is a valuable benchmark for AI models and an important task in the field of AI.

What are some future directions for HellaSwag research?

Future research directions for HellaSwag could include:

  • Improving Predictive Ability — One potential area of research is improving the predictive ability of AI models on the HellaSwag task. This could involve developing new AI techniques or improving existing ones.

  • Understanding Human Behavior — Another potential area of research is improving the AI model's understanding of human behavior. This could involve studying human behavior in more detail or developing new methods for modeling human behavior.

  • Expanding the Task — The HellaSwag task could potentially be expanded to include other types of narratives or other types of predictions. This could provide new challenges and opportunities for AI models.

These directions could potentially lead to improvements in the performance of AI models on the HellaSwag task, as well as new insights into human behavior.

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