Evolutionary Model Merge: Sakana AI's LLM Solution Ep.169

The Daily AI Show: LIVE
4 Apr 202435:48

TLDRThe Daily AI show discusses the innovative concept of 'Evolutionary Model Merge' by Sakana AI, a Japanese company. They've developed a method to combine different AI models through an evolutionary process, resulting in new models that outperform the originals. This technique has potential applications in various fields, including language translation and cultural preservation, and could revolutionize the development of AI models without the need for extensive retraining.


  • 😀 The concept of 'Evolutionary Model Merge' is introduced, which is a method to combine different AI models to create new, more efficient models.
  • 🌟 Sakana AI, a Japanese company, has utilized this method to develop models that outperform their original counterparts in specific tasks like math in Japanese.
  • 🔍 The technique merges models in two ways: by combining layers (data flow space) and by mixing weights (parameter space), creating offspring models that are tested against benchmarks.
  • 📈 The evolutionary process is likened to 'survival of the fittest', where only the models that perform best in their tasks continue to the next generation.
  • 💡 The method is cost-effective as it doesn't require the extensive computational resources that training a large language model from scratch does.
  • 🌐 The potential applications of this technique are vast, including language translation, cultural preservation, and specialized domain expertise.
  • 🚀 This method could lead to AI models that are more culturally aware and less biased, as it allows for the incorporation of niche datasets and specialized knowledge.
  • 💬 Discussion on the show suggests that this technique may also help in addressing the issue of data scarcity and the potential degradation of data quality over time.
  • 🧩 The analogy of 'Lego pieces' is used to describe how different models can be combined to build a custom AI solution for specific tasks.
  • 🔑 The 'Evolutionary Model Merge' is seen as a step towards creating AI models that can operate on devices with limited computational power, like smartphones or Raspberry Pi clusters.
  • 🔮 The show hosts predict that this method could play a significant role in the future development of AI, possibly even leading to models that exceed current capabilities and imagination.

Q & A

  • What is the main topic of discussion in the Daily AI show on March 28th, 2024?

    -The main topic of discussion is the 'evolutionary model merge', a technique developed by a Japanese company called Sakana AI, which merges different AI models to create new models with improved performance.

  • What does the term 'evolutionary model merge' refer to in the context of AI?

    -The term 'evolutionary model merge' refers to a process where two different AI models are combined through an evolutionary process, resulting in a new model that outperforms the original models in specific tasks.

  • How did the hosts of The Daily AI show come across the concept of 'evolutionary model merge'?

    -The hosts came across the concept through an article from Sakana AI, which was shared by Beth, one of the show's participants, who found it on Twitter and thought it was a cool idea worth discussing on the show.

  • What was the initial project that Sakana AI worked on using the 'evolutionary model merge' technique?

    -The initial project Sakana AI worked on using this technique was to create a model capable of doing math in Japanese, addressing the difficulty language models have with math and the additional complexity of combining it with language processing.

  • How does the 'evolutionary model merge' technique differ from traditional AI model training?

    -The 'evolutionary model merge' technique differs from traditional AI model training by not requiring pre-training from scratch. Instead, it merges existing models, layers, and weights to create a new model that is optimized for specific tasks through an evolutionary process.

  • What is the significance of the 'evolutionary model merge' technique in terms of cost and efficiency?

    -The 'evolutionary model merge' technique is significant because it is much less expensive than training a new large language model from scratch. It is also more efficient as it leverages existing models and requires less computational power.

  • How does the 'evolutionary model merge' technique address the issue of model specialization?

    -The technique addresses model specialization by allowing the creation of models that are highly competent in specific tasks or domains. It can combine the best attributes of different models to create a new model tailored to a particular need.

  • What is the potential impact of the 'evolutionary model merge' on the future development of AI models?

    -The potential impact includes more rapid development of specialized AI models, reduced costs in model training, and the ability to create models that are better at specific tasks without the need for extensive retraining from scratch.

  • How does the 'evolutionary model merge' technique relate to the concept of a 'mixture of experts' in AI?

    -The 'evolutionary model merge' technique relates to the 'mixture of experts' concept by potentially creating a single model that encapsulates the expertise of multiple models, thus acting like a team of experts merged into one efficient model.

  • What are some potential applications of the 'evolutionary model merge' technique outside of language processing?

    -Potential applications include image and video processing, multimodal AI that combines text, image, and voice, and any field where AI models need to be highly specialized and efficient in performing specific tasks.



📅 Introduction to the Daily AI Show - March 28th, 2024

The script opens with an introduction to The Daily AI Show airing live on March 28th, 2024. The host, Brian, greets the audience and introduces the panel, which includes Jimy, Beth, Andy, and himself, with a possible appearance by Carl. The hosts discuss the format of their live conversations, hinting at the topic of the show - an 'evolutionary model merge'. Brian teases an article from a Japanese company, setting the stage for a discussion on a novel approach to improving AI models by merging them through an evolutionary process.


🌐 The Evolutionary Model Merge Technique

Beth introduces the concept of the 'evolutionary model merge', a technique that merges different AI models to create offspring models that outperform their predecessors. The method is highlighted as cost-effective compared to training new models from scratch. Andy builds on this by discussing the high costs of developing large language models and the potential of model merging to democratize AI development. The conversation touches on the use of this technique to create a model adept at Japanese language and math, overcoming the challenges faced by traditional language models.


🧬 CMA-ES Algorithm and Model Evolution

The discussion delves into the specifics of the 'evolutionary model merge' process, mentioning the use of the CMA-ES (Covariance Matrix Adaptation Evolution Strategy) algorithm. This approach systematically optimizes the merging of layers and weights from different models to meet specific benchmark requirements. The hosts liken the process to natural selection, where only the most effective combinations survive, leading to the creation of highly efficient and specialized AI models without the need for extensive pre-training.


🤖 AI Model Specialization and Cultural Relevance

The conversation explores the implications of AI model specialization and cultural relevance. The hosts consider the potential of the evolutionary model merge technique to address biases and culturally-centric issues in AI. They discuss the example of creating a Japanese language model capable of understanding math, which could improve translation services and preserve cultural nuances. The technique is seen as a step forward in creating AI models that are not only efficient but also culturally aware.


🚀 The Future of AI and Model Genealogy

Carl joins the discussion, reflecting on the capabilities of AI models and the potential for higher-level reasoning. He suggests that the evolutionary model merge technique could lead to the creation of models that surpass current limitations. The conversation touches on the possibility of smaller, specialized models governing larger ones and the idea of creating models that are beyond human imagination through an evolutionary process.


🛠️ Merging Models for Efficiency and Performance

The hosts discuss the efficiency and performance gains from merging models, highlighting how a smaller model with fewer parameters can outperform a larger one. They consider the potential for AI to predict which merges will be most beneficial, drawing parallels with advances in pharmaceuticals. The conversation also considers the downstream implications for compute power and the potential for AI to solve problems beyond human capacity.


🎨 The Creative Potential of AI Model Merging

The discussion concludes with a look at the creative potential of AI model merging, comparing it to generative adversarial networks in image generation. The hosts consider the application of these techniques to various fields, including the preservation of cultural dances and the potential for AI to create solutions beyond current human understanding. They express excitement about the future possibilities of AI and the topics they will cover in upcoming shows.


📆 Upcoming Shows and Claude Discussion

The script wraps up with a preview of the next day's show, which will focus on Claude, a new AI model that has generated buzz in the AI community. The hosts hint at a deep dive into Claude's capabilities and a comparison with other models like GPT-4. They also tease upcoming shows about the race for instant AI results, preparing businesses for AI advancements beyond GPT-5, and a fun discussion on AI's portrayal in movies.



💡Evolutionary Model Merge

Evolutionary Model Merge refers to a process where two different AI models are combined through an evolutionary approach to create a new model that outperforms the originals. In the context of the video, this process is likened to 'survival of the fittest', where the best-performing merged models are selected for their enhanced capabilities. The concept is central to the video's theme, illustrating a breakthrough in AI development that allows for more efficient and effective model creation without the need for extensive retraining.

💡Sakana AI

Sakana AI is a company based out of Japan that has developed the evolutionary model merge technique. The video discusses how Sakana AI has applied this method to create models that are particularly adept at tasks like performing math in Japanese, which is traditionally challenging for language models. Sakana AI serves as a prime example of how the merging process can be utilized to develop highly specialized AI models.

💡Daily AI Show

The Daily AI Show is the program in which the video script is set. It is a live show that discusses various topics related to artificial intelligence. In this episode, the hosts delve into the topic of evolutionary model merging, indicating the significance of the concept within the AI community and its potential impact on future AI development.

💡Large Language Models (LLMs)

Large Language Models, or LLMs, are AI models that have been trained on vast amounts of data to understand and generate human-like text. The script mentions these models in the context of merging, where different LLMs are combined to create offspring models with improved capabilities. The concept is integral to understanding the advancements in AI discussed in the video.

💡Open Source Models

Open Source Models are AI models whose designs and training data are publicly available, allowing anyone to use, modify, and improve upon them. The video script discusses using open source models as the basis for the evolutionary model merge process, emphasizing the collaborative and innovative potential of open-source contributions to AI development.


A benchmark in the context of AI refers to a set of tests or criteria used to evaluate the performance of a model. In the video, the evolutionary model merge process involves testing the merged models against benchmarks to determine their effectiveness, particularly in specialized tasks such as math in Japanese. The term is used to highlight the systematic approach to improving AI capabilities.

💡Merging Models

Merging Models is the act of combining layers and weights from two different AI models to create a new model with potentially enhanced abilities. The video script explains that this process is more cost-effective than training a new model from scratch and is central to the evolutionary model merge technique discussed.


CMA-ES, short for Covariance Matrix Adaptation Evolution Strategy, is an algorithm mentioned in the script that is used in the evolutionary model merge process. It is an evolutionary algorithm that helps in optimizing the combination of layers and weights from different models to create a superior offspring model. The term is used to illustrate the technical sophistication behind the merging process.

💡Hugging Face

Hugging Face is a company that provides a platform for AI model development and sharing. The script mentions Hugging Face as hosting over 500,000 models, the majority of which are merged models. It serves as an example of the community-driven aspect of AI development and the vast resources available for creating new and improved models.


Specialization in the context of AI models refers to the development of models that excel in specific tasks or domains. The video discusses how the evolutionary model merge process can lead to highly specialized models, such as one that is particularly adept at math in Japanese, showcasing the potential for tailored AI solutions.

💡Culturally Centric Issues

Culturally Centric Issues refer to the biases or limitations in AI models that stem from their training on data that is predominantly from a specific culture or language. The script discusses the potential of the evolutionary model merge to address these issues by creating models that are more culturally aware and capable of handling nuances in different languages and contexts.


Introduction of the 'Evolutionary Model Merge' concept by Sakana AI, a Japanese company.

The innovative approach merges two different AI models to create a new model with enhanced performance.

The evolutionary process is likened to 'survival of the fittest' among models, leading to superior performance.

Sakana AI's technique was initially used to develop a model capable of performing math in Japanese.

The new models outperformed the original ones, showcasing the effectiveness of the evolutionary merge.

The article from Sakana AI is praised for its readability and engaging presentation of complex ideas.

The potential for creating specialized models without the need for extensive training sets is highlighted.

The method could address issues of bias and cultural centrism in AI by focusing on domain-specific models.

The analogy of models as Lego pieces, allowing for the creation of customized AI solutions.

The efficiency gains in model performance, such as a 7 billion parameter model outperforming a 70 billion parameter one.

The evolutionary model merge's potential to reduce reliance on large-scale data and computational resources.

The possibility of AI predicting which merges will offer the most improvement, similar to advancements in pharmaceuticals.

The method's alignment with the goal of getting competent models onto local devices, such as smartphones.

The potential for the technique to create models that are beyond human imagination through natural selection-like processes.

The distinction between a council of models and the evolutionary model merge method, which creates a single, optimized model.

The impact on compute requirements, suggesting a shift away from traditional training methods towards more efficient merging.

The potential for the method to address concerns about the degradation of data quality in AI training.

The application of existing algorithms within Sakana's pipeline to iteratively refine and test AI models.