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The Foundation Model Transparency Index

AI Snake Oil Blog: “Foundation models such as GPT-4 and Stable Diffusion 2 are the engines of generative AI. While the societal impact of foundation models is growing, transparency is on the decline, mirroring the opacity that has plagued past digital technologies like social media. How are these models trained and deployed? Once released, how do users actually use them? Who are the workers that build the datasets that these systems rely on, and how much are they paid? Transparency about these questions is important to keep companies accountable and understand the societal impact of foundation models. Today, we’re introducing the Foundation Model Transparency Index to aggregate transparency information from foundation model developers, identify areas for improvement, push for change, and track progress over time. This effort is a collaboration between researchers from Stanford, MIT, and Princeton.  The inaugural 2023 version of the index consists of 100 indicators that assess the transparency of the developers’ practices around developing and deploying foundation models. Foundation models impact societal outcomes at various levels, and we take a broad view of what constitutes transparency…Execution. For the 2023 Index, we score 10 leading developers against our 100 indicators. This provides a snapshot of transparency across the AI ecosystem. All developers have significant room for improvement that we will aim to track in the future versions of the Index…Key Findings

  • The top-scoring model scores only 54 out of 100. No major foundation model developer is close to providing adequate transparency, revealing a fundamental lack of transparency in the AI industry.
  • The mean score is a just 37%. Yet, 82 of the indicators are satisfied by at least one developer, meaning that developers can significantly improve transparency by adopting best practices from their competitors.
  • Open foundation model developers lead the way. Two of the three open foundation model developers get the two highest scores. Both allow their model weights to be downloaded. Stability AI, the third open foundation model developer, is a close fourth, behind OpenAI…”

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