Microsoft has introduced Phi-2, a cutting-edge small language model (SLM) designed to outshine its larger counterparts in performance, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness. With 2.7 billion parameters, Phi-2 represents a leap forward from its predecessor, Phi-1.5, and has exhibited remarkable capabilities in various benchmarks compared to bigger models like Llama-2, Mistral, and Gemini-2.
Announced by Satya Nadella at Ignite 2023, it is now available through the Azure AI Studio model catalogue. The Microsoft research team behind Phi-2 claims that the model exhibits attributes like “common sense,” “language understanding,” and “logical reasoning.” What sets Phi-2 apart is its ability to outperform models that are 25 times larger on specific tasks.
The model’s training involves “textbook-quality” data, encompassing synthetic datasets, general knowledge, theories of mind, daily activities, and more. Phi-2, a transformer-based model with next-word prediction capabilities, was trained on 96 A100 GPUs for a mere 14 days. This training duration stands in stark contrast to the extensive 90–100 days required for GPT-4, utilizing tens of thousands of A100 Tensor Core GPUs.
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Phi-2’s abilities go beyond language comprehension; it can also solve challenging physics problems, mathematical equations, and even spot mistakes in student calculations. Phi-2 outperforms models such as the 13B Llama-2 and 7B Mistral according to benchmarks in coding, math, language understanding, and commonsense reasoning. Additionally, it outperforms the substantial 70B Llama-2 LLM and the Google Gemini Nano 2, a 3.25B model.
The Phi-2 is a smaller model that performs better than its larger counterparts, and this is significant because it is less expensive and requires less power and computing. Its ability to be trained for particular tasks and run natively on devices leads in lower output latency in addition to offering significant savings. Through Azure AI Studio, developers who are eager to take advantage of Phi-2’s capabilities can access the model.
Microsoft’s Phi-2 emerges as a groundbreaking small language model, defying expectations by outshining larger models in various benchmarks. For developers looking for advanced language capabilities in a more compact form factor, its efficiency, affordability, and versatility make it an appealing option.