Unlock free GenAI with IrisGPT—trained on your data!

Try for Free
Jun 04, 2024 | 8 Mins read

Understanding LLM: Large Language Models

Large language model: Modern machine's natural language

Large Language Models (LLMs) have revolutionized the field of artificial intelligence by enabling machines to understand and generate human-like/natural language text. These advanced models, often referred to as Large Language Model (LLM), are capable of performing various natural language processing tasks such as translation, chatbots, and AI assistants, with self-supervised learning playing a crucial role in enabling these capabilities alongside deep learning techniques. Popular large language models, such as GPT-4 and PaLM, are foundation models trained on enormous amounts of data to provide the foundational capabilities needed to drive multiple use cases and applications, from chatbots to content creation. To the core of how a large language model works is NLP i.e. Natural language processing which is the reason why these large language models generate text which as the name suggests helps the LLMs to generate text in a very human-like/natural language text as compared to conventional ai models. This article delves into what LLMs are, how they work, and their business applications, drawing insights from two comprehensive expert explanations in the field.

What are Large Language Models?

Unlike the conventional machine learning models which are built on neural networks, Large Language Models (LLMs) are a subset of deep learning models pre-trained on vast text data. These models, often referred to as Large Language Model (LLM), are designed to generate and understand text by learning from patterns within the data. LLMs are a foundation model, meaning they are pre-trained on extensive, unlabeled datasets in a self-supervised learning manner. This training enables them to produce generalizable and adaptable outputs.

LLM features

Key Features of LLMs

Large Data Sets and Parameters: Large Language Models (LLMs) are trained on enormous datasets, sometimes reaching petabytes of data through self-supervised learning. For instance, GPT-3 was trained on 45 terabytes of text and utilized 175 billion parameters. Parameters in machine learning are the adjustable elements that the model learns during training, acting like the model’s memories and knowledge. The vast number of these parameters enables LLMs to handle complex tasks.

Transformer Architecture: The architecture of LLMs is typically based on transformers, which use a mechanism called self-attention to understand the context of words in a sequence by considering their relationships with other words. This self-attention mechanism enables the models to generate coherent and contextually relevant text.

Pre-training and Fine-tuning: LLMs undergo a two-stage training process. Initially, they are pre-trained on large, general datasets to solve common language problems. Subsequently, they can be fine-tuned on smaller, specific datasets to tailor their capabilities to particular tasks or domains.

What is a transformer model?

A transformer model is a type of neural network architecture that has revolutionized natural language processing and other machine learning tasks, forming the backbone of many Large Language Models (LLMs). Unlike previous models, such as recurrent neural networks (RNNs), transformers emphasize the role of the attention mechanism, specifically self-attention, to process input data more efficiently and in parallel.

This encoder-decoder architecture consists of an encoder and a decoder. The encoder processes the input sequence, generating encodings that capture the relationships between words. These encodings are then passed to the decoder, which generates the output sequence. This approach allows transformers to handle complex tasks like language translation, where word order and context are crucial.

One key innovation of transformers is the use of positional encodings, which help the model understand the order of words in a sentence. Combined with the attention mechanism, this allows transformers to identify relevant parts of the input sequence when generating the output.

Transformers have been successfully applied to various tasks beyond translation, such as text summarization, question answering, and even code generation. Models like GPT-3 and BERT, both based on the transformer architecture, have demonstrated remarkable capabilities, making transformers a cornerstone of modern machine learning.

The efficiency and versatility of transformers come from their ability to process data in parallel, significantly speeding up training times compared to RNNs. This has enabled the development of large-scale models trained on vast amounts of data, leading to impressive advancements in AI.

How Do Large Language Models Work?

The functionality of Large Language Models (LLMs), can be broken down into three main components: data, architecture, and training.

Data: LLMs are pre-trained on diverse and extensive text data, including books, articles, and conversations. The vastness of this data allows the models to learn from a wide range of linguistic patterns and structures, highlighting the importance of self-supervised learning in the training process.

Architecture: The transformer architecture enables LLMs to process sequences of data efficiently. Transformers consist of encoders and decoders. The encoder processes the input data, and the decoder generates the output, making them suitable for translation and text generation tasks.

Training: During training, LLMs learn to predict the next word in a sequence by adjusting their internal parameters to minimize the difference between their predictions and the actual outcomes. This iterative process continues until the model can reliably generate coherent sentences.

Advanced Techniques

Prompt Tuning: Advanced techniques in Large Language Models (LLMs), include prompt tuning, few-shot learning, and zero-shot learning. Prompt design and engineering are critical in optimizing LLM performance. Creating clear, concise prompts tailored to specific tasks can significantly enhance the model’s output accuracy.

Few-Shot and Zero-Shot Learning: A Large language model (LLM) can perform tasks with minimal or no domain-specific training data. Few-shot learning involves training the model with a limited number of examples, enabling it to generalize from this small dataset. Zero-shot learning allows the model to recognize tasks it hasn’t been explicitly trained on.

Applications of Large Language Models

Customer Service

LLMs, enhance customer service by powering chatbots that understand and respond to diverse queries efficiently. They clarify customer intents, provide relevant information, and continuously improve through interactions.

Social Media Content Creation

LLMs streamline social media content creation by generating ideas, engaging posts, and personalizing content for specific audiences. They help optimize engagement by recommending effective posting strategies.


LLMs enable accurate and efficient translation services by deeply understanding multiple languages and considering contextual nuances. They handle ambiguous phrases and automate the translation process for scalability.

Writing Creative Content

generate various forms of creative content, including poems, code, scripts, and musical pieces. They understand specific requirements and styles, assisting in diverse creative tasks.

blog generation

Answering Questions

LLMs excel at understanding and responding to natural language questions. They provide coherent and relevant answers, handle ambiguity, and adapt responses to the context of the question.

Code Generation

Large Language Models (LLMs), assist developers by understanding programming languages and helping them in writing software code generating code templates. They automate repetitive coding tasks, enhancing productivity and speeding up software development.

code generation

Sentiment analysis

The ability of large language models to interpret human written text makes it an ideal technology for language-related tasks such as sentiment analysis.

sentiment analysis


Large Language Models, through text summarization, summarize long texts by identifying key information and retaining the original meaning and context. They can be customized for specific domains, improving information accessibility and comprehension.

The Future of Large Language Models

Providing the ability of machines to understand natural language already makes the future of Large Language Models (LLMs), often referred to as large language model llm, look promising, with research focusing on several key areas:

Self Fact-Checking

Future Large Language Models (LLMs), often referred to as Large Language Model (LLM), aim to improve factual accuracy by incorporating self-fact-checking mechanisms. Models like Google’s REALM and OpenAI’s WebGPT represent early efforts in this direction, accessing external resources and providing citations for their responses.

Enhanced Prompt Engineering

The role of prompt engineers is becoming increasingly important in optimizing Large Language Models (LLMs). Techniques like Few-Shot Learning and chain-of-thought prompting help LLMs generate more accurate and relevant responses, even for complex queries.

Advanced Fine-Tuning and Alignment

Customizing Large Language Models (LLMs), often referred to as Large Language Model (LLM), through fine-tuning with industry-specific datasets remains crucial. Approaches like Reinforcement Learning from Human Feedback (RLHF) enable more precise alignment with user intents, improving model performance.

Greater Capacity and Efficiency

Future Large Language Models (LLMs), often referred to as Large Language Model (LLM), will likely have an increased capacity for understanding and generating language, enabling more complex and accurate models. Advancements in computational power and techniques like Retrieval-Augmented Generation (RAG) will enhance efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

Limitations of LLMs

Despite their capabilities, Large Language Models (LLMs), often referred to as Large Language Models (LLM), have notable limitations: transformer models maintain large language models, but they still face significant challenges in accurately performing language translation.


Large Language Models (LLMs), often referred to as Large Language Models (LLM), can generate outputs that deviate from facts or contextual logic, known as hallucinations. These can range from minor inconsistencies to completely fabricated statements. Common causes include data quality issues, generation methods, and input context. Strategies to minimize hallucinations include providing clear prompts, using active mitigation settings, and employing multi-shot prompting.

Biased Output

Large Language Models (LLMs), often referred to as Large Language Models (LLM), may reflect or reinforce harmful stereotypes and biases in their training data. This can lead to negative societal impacts, such as spreading misinformation and perpetuating injustice. Addressing bias in LLM outputs requires rigorous evaluation methods and mitigation strategies to ensure fairness and equity.

Ethical Concerns

Large Language Models (LLMs), often referred to as Large Language Models (LLM), raise ethical concerns, including privacy breaches and the amplification of biases. As these models mirror societal values and ethical dilemmas, it is crucial to develop and wield them responsibly. Ongoing oversight and ethical considerations are essential to navigate the complex ethical landscape of AI.


Large Language Models (LLMs), often referred to as Large Language Models (LLM), represent a significant advancement in artificial intelligence, acting as the backbone of the generative AI revolution. It has broken the barrier between machine and human language, offering powerful tools to generate human-like text and understanding. By leveraging vast datasets and sophisticated architectures, LLMs can perform a wide array of tasks with high accuracy and minimal domain-specific training. As these models continue to evolve, their applications in business and beyond are likely to expand, driving innovation and efficiency across various sectors.

Check out the robust LLMs of IrisAgent by booking your demo here.

Continue Reading
Contact UsContact Us

© Copyright Iris Agent Inc.All Rights Reserved