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June 30 2024

#181 Multi-Modal vs. Multiple Models

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There has been significant discussion about making large language models multi-modal, enabling them to process and generate audio and video in addition to text. This advancement is driven by several compelling reasons. As humans, we comprehend the world through (at least) five senses. Multi-modality bring AI closer to this holistic experience, allowing for more natural and intuitive interactions.

Since humans are the primary users of AI (at least until the singularity arrives), multi-modality enhances the ability to obtain meaningful outputs.

Today, I will focus on an orthogonal aspect of AI development: the need for multiple models that are not only available in various form factors but also specialized and fine-tuned for specific tasks. For those versed in design patterns, think of it as a sophisticated implementation of the Composite pattern, where each component can be a specialized model or a composition of models, all working together seamlessly. This can be either a specialized model or a composition of models, all collaborating seamlessly. This concept shares attributes with the Compound AI systems design pattern.

The Emergence of Specialized AI Models

The evolution of generative AI highlights the growing need for models tailored to specific tasks or domains. While multi-modal AI boasts diverse capabilities, specialized models can excel in certain scenarios, offering superior performance and efficiency. Referred to as task-specific or domain-specific models, these specialized models are finely tuned to deliver exceptional accuracy and optimized outcomes in their respective areas.

Advantages of Task-Specific Models

Performant : Specialized models are designed to handle particular tasks with precision. For instance, a model trained specifically for medical diagnostics can analyze patient data with a level of accuracy that a general-purpose model might not achieve. This optimization leads to better performance and more reliable results.

Efficient: Task-specific models can be more lightweight and efficient compared to more general models. By focusing on a narrow range of tasks, these models require fewer computational resources, making them suitable for deployment on a wider variety of devices, including those with limited processing power.

Secure : Task-specific models offer enhanced security due to their focused data usage and narrow scope. They simplify access control by catering to specific user groups, thereby making it easier to enforce authorization policies. Additionally, these models reduce the attack surface and can be tailored to comply with industry-specific regulations, ensuring better protection of sensitive data.

Deterministic: One critical area where specialized models shine is in deterministic tasks, where precise and consistent outputs are crucial. Current large language models (LLMs) excel at generating creative and varied content but often struggle with tasks requiring exact, repeatable results. Deterministic models, fine-tuned for specific applications, can fill this gap effectively.


The future of AI lies in a fractal model of specialized systems, where each variant is fine-tuned for a specific task but rooted in the robust foundation of large language models (LLMs). Much like fractals, which maintain similar patterns across different scales, these AI models will preserve the core strengths of LLMs while being optimized for distinct applications. This approach ensures that the versatility and power of LLMs are harnessed across a broad spectrum of tasks, creating a cohesive network of specialized models. By doing so, we can achieve a higher level of precision, efficiency, and security, tailored to meet the unique demands of various industries and applications.