Revolutionizing News Summarization: Exploring the Power of GPT in Zero-Shot and Specialized Tasks

Matt Payne
March 22, 2023

In recent years, the field of natural language processing (NLP) has witnessed a significant paradigm shift with the advent of large-scale pre-trained models such as GPT-3 (Brown et al., 2020), T0 (Sanh et al., 2022), PaLM (Chowdhery et al., 2022), and now GPT-4. These models have demonstrated remarkable success in zero- and few-shot learning, enabling them to perform tasks with minimal or no fine-tuning on domain-specific datasets. One area that has been profoundly impacted by this development is text summarization, particularly in the context of news articles and other long form input use cases.

Most of the past text summarization use cases have relied on fine-tuning pre-trained models on large, domain-specific datasets (Lewis et al., 2020; Zhang et al., 2020; Raffel et al., 2020). While these models have achieved high-quality summaries on standard benchmarks, they often require substantial training data to adapt to new settings, such as summarizing content from a different source domain or generating summaries in a distinct style. The success of prompt-based models like GPT-3 have created a whole new world, where models learn from natural language task instructions and/or a few demonstrative examples in the context without updating their parameters. This approach has been studied and evaluated across various tasks , but its implications on text summarization have only been explored using unreliable automatic metrics or in non-standard settings (Saunders et al., 2022).

In this blog post, we delve into the impact of prompt-based models on the news text summarization space, using the Instruct-tuned 175B GPT-3 model (text-davinci002) as a case study alongside this research. The original research aims to address three primary questions:

1. How do prompt-based large language model summaries compare to those generated by state-of-the-art fine-tuned summarization models, such as those proposed by Zhang et al. (2020) and Liu et al. (2022)?

2. Are existing automatic metrics, such as ROUGE (Lin, 2004) and BERTScore (Zhang* et al., 2020), well-suited to evaluate zero-shot summaries, especially when the accuracy of these summaries can be relative to the reader?

bertscore architecture

3. How can zero-shot summaries be used for use cases beyond generic summarization, specifically in keyword-based and aspect-based summarization?

To tackle these questions, we’ll take a look at a series of experiments and evaluations. First, review a comparison of prompt-based GPT summaries with fine-tuned models using A/B testing on a new corpus of recent news articles. Our findings reveal that study participants overwhelmingly prefer zero-shot GPT-3 summaries across two different "styles" with different prompts (three-sentence and single-sentence). Furthermore, these zero-shot summaries do not suffer from limitations due to low-quality training data that often affect fine-tuned generic summarization models (Maynez et al., 2020; Goyal et al., 2022).

Next, we examine the suitability of existing automatic metrics for evaluating zero-shot summaries. Previous research has demonstrated that classic reference-based metrics like ROUGE and BERTScore are unreliable when small improvements are reported (Peyrard, 2019; Fabbri et al., 2021); however, large differences, on the order of say 5 ROUGE points or greater, are considered to be correlated with human preferences (Bhandari et al., 2020; Deutsch et al., 2022). Our analysis indicates that these metrics are no longer reliable when evaluating zero-shot summaries from prompt based LLMs, which score much lower on automatic metrics (7 ROUGE-L points on average) than all prior state-of-the-art models, while comfortably outperforming them in human evaluation. Additionally, we show that recent reference-free metrics, such as QA-based metrics (Fabbri et al., 2022; Durmus et al., 2020) and trained factuality models (Kryscinski et al., 2020; Goyal and Durrett, 2020), also fail to adapt to the shift from fine-tuned to zero-shot summarization and need to be revisited.

Lastly, we explore the potential applications of zero-shot summaries beyond generic summarization, focusing on keyword-based and aspect-based summarization. For keyword-based summarization, our experiments demonstrate that zero-shot GPT-3 consistently generates more coherent and keyword-relevant summaries compared to current fine-tuned alternatives, with crowd annotators preferring GPT-3 summaries over a baseline model (He et al., 2020) 70% of the time. However, we observe mixed results for the aspect-based setting, where GPT-3 summaries exhibit frequent failure cases when prompted with simple prompts for aspect-based summarization.

In summary, our investigation suggests that GPT-3 and other newer prompt based LLMs represent a fundamental paradigm shift in text summarization, altering the data requirements and approaches that can be explored. Evaluating these systems as they progress further will necessitate a new framework distinct from the automatic metrics that have dominated the last decade of summarization research. In the following sections, we will delve deeper into the experiments, methodologies, and implications of these findings for the future of text summarization and NLP research.

Let’s dive into it.

How we got here

Before diving into the details of our investigation on prompt-based models for text summarization, it is essential to understand the context and the related work in this area. Over the past decade, the emergence of many dialogue datasets on various domains (Budzianowski et al., 2018; Lowe et al., 2015) has led to the development of numerous text summarization models. However, very few of these datasets contain corresponding summary text, making it challenging to train models for dialogue summarization.

Human dialogues have different structures and language patterns compared to written articles, which means that dialogue summarization models can only benefit limitedly from the largely available news summarization data (Zhu et al., 2020). Current public datasets for dialogue summarization are either very small or domain-specific. For example, AMI (McCowan et al., 2005) and ICSI (Janin et al., 2003) contain meeting transcripts with abstractive summaries, while MultiWOZ (Budzianowski et al., 2018) is a multi-domain task-oriented dialogue dataset with instructions used as summaries (Yuan and Yu, 2019).

Other datasets, such as SAMSum (Gliwa et al., 2019), contain linguist-generated messenger-like daily conversations, but they are not derived from real human conversations. The CRD3 dataset (Rameshkumar and Bailey) contains transcribed conversations from the Critical Role show with Dungeons and Dragon players. Additionally, there are non-public dialogue summarization datasets in domains such as customer support (Liu et al., 2019) and medical conversation (Krishna et al., 2020).

Given this context, the advent of large-scale pre-trained models, such as GPT-3, has opened new avenues for text summarization use cases, particularly in the context of news articles. These models have demonstrated remarkable success in zero- and few-shot learning, enabling them to perform tasks with minimal or no fine-tuning on domain-specific datasets. This development has led to the current investigation of the impact of prompt-based large language models on the text summarization research space..

Current Paradigms for News Summarization and Use Case Setup

To better understand the impact of prompt-based models on news article summarization, let's first need to explore the current paradigms for summarization and how we set up the experiments to compare the performance of these models.

Current Paradigms for Summarization

Zero shot word count restricted summarization with GPT-4. GPTs ability to summarize with a specific word count has greatly improved from base GPT-3 to GPT-4
Zero shot word count restricted summarization with GPT-4. GPTs ability to summarize with a specific word count has greatly improved from base GPT-3 to GPT-4

The existing summarization systems can be broadly categorized into two main groups: fine-tuned models and zero- or few-shot prompting-based models.

1. Fine-tuned models: These models are pre-trained language models that are fine-tuned on large domain-specific datasets, such as BART (Lewis et al., 2020), PEGASUS (Zhang et al., 2020), and BRIO (Liu et al., 2022). They generate high-quality summaries on standard benchmarks but require sizable training datasets to adapt to new settings. This category also includes models aimed at tasks beyond generic summarization, such as keyword- or query-based summarization, that still rely on standard datasets for training (He et al., 2020). The rule we have always used is that if you have the data for fine-tuning that it is always worth it over few-shot tasks, as being able to hyper-refine these models into a single task and single domain always outperforms the workflow of task agnostic model with a bit of prompt based steering.

2. Zero- or few-shot models: These models, such as GPT-4, PaLM (Chowdhery et al., 2022), and T0 (Sanh et al., 2022), are not explicitly trained for any particular task. Instead, they learn from natural language task instructions and/or a few prompt examples in the context without updating their parameters. The goal of this is to be able to get very far with very little data, and try to take advantage of the underlying models initial understanding of the task. From there we try to augment the understanding of the task further with prompt based examples that help the model understand what a goal output is for us, and use this prompt to best scale data variance coverage.

3 Key Models Used

For the experiment, you can compare the summarization performance of three models that represent a few available options in the text summarization space.

1. GPT3-D2 (text-davinci-002): An Instruct-tuned 175B GPT-3 model from OpenAI, which has been fine-tuned on multiple tasks, including summarization. This model is a part of the Instruct series (Ouyang et al., 2022) and represents a significant advancement in prompt-based models. While the exact training details for text-davinci-002 are not publicly disclosed, it is known that the previous model in the series, text-davinci-001, was fine-tuned on a combination of prompts submitted to the OpenAI API and labeler prompts spanning multiple tasks, including summarization. However, it is important to note that the model is not explicitly trained on standard summarization datasets like CNN/DM (Hermann et al., 2015; Nallapati et al., 2016) or XSum (Narayan et al., 2018).

The GPT series models offer several benefits for text summarization tasks. One of the primary advantages is its ability to perform zero-shot learning with high accuracy in the context of domain-specific summarization. This capability makes instruct highly adaptable and versatile, as it can be used to summarize content from various source domains and generate summaries in different styles simply by adjusting the prompt and the instructions provided.

Another benefit of the instruct GPT models is that it leverages the vast knowledge encoded in its pre-training, enabling it to generate high-quality summaries that often outperform fine-tuned models in human evaluations. This is particularly impressive considering that the model does not rely on large amounts of labeled data for fine-tuning, like traditional summarization models.

Furthermore, the Instruct-tuned GPT3-D2 model can be used for various summarization tasks beyond generic summarization, such as keyword-based and aspect-based summarization. By providing the appropriate prompts, the model can generate coherent and relevant summaries that cater to specific requirements, showcasing its potential to revolutionize the field of text summarization.

2. BRIO: A fine-tuned summarization model developed by Liu et al. (2022), which leverages a two-stage training process involving pre-training on a large unsupervised corpus and fine-tuning on specific summarization datasets such as CNN/DM and XSum.

BRIO model

BRIO incorporates a novel contrastive learning objective designed to capture the semantic relationship between source articles and their summaries. By optimizing this objective, the model is able to generate high-quality, abstractive summaries that closely align with human-generated reference summaries. BRIO has demonstrated state-of-the-art performance on both CNN/DM and XSum datasets, showcasing its effectiveness in the domain of text summarization. This model is widely considered to be the SOTA for abstractive summarization in the fine-tuned model domain.

3. T0: A prompt-based model developed by Sanh et al. (2022) that is fine-tuned on multiple tasks, including standard summarization datasets such as CNN/DM and XSum. T0 demonstrates improved generalization capabilities compared to traditional fine-tuned models by leveraging natural language task instructions and/or a few demonstrative examples without model parameter updates. It serves as an intermediate point of comparison between task-specific fine-tuned models (like BRIO) and zero-shot models (like GPT3-D2) in the text summarization space.

How to set up GPT for this comparison

To ensure a fair comparison between the fine-tuned models and the zero-shot GPT3-D2 in the context of news summarization, we need to delve deeper into how we adapt the GPT3-D2 prompt to align with dataset-specific styles and understand the results obtained in this use case.

Adapting GPT3-D2 Prompts for Zero-Shot Summarization

To generate summaries that align with dataset-specific styles, we can follow prior work (Sanh et al., 2022) and use sentence-count length prompts to adapt to each dataset. Although these datasets differ in other attributes, such as lead-bias in CNN/DM and inference-driven summaries in XSum, we focus on controlling the length of the summary to simplify the comparison.

For example, using prompts like "Summarize the above article in N sentences" (which we’ll see later) to generate summaries with the desired length. The research experiments show that GPT3-D2 summaries faithfully follow the given length constraint in 98% of the test instances used in our human study data. This is one of the key ideas that leads to feeling confident about GPT-3’s ability to understand clear instructions that will be required for news summarization.

GPT-4 example of zero shot summarization
This same experiment can be ran with GPT-4

Datasets and Model Setup

Basic statistics of standard summarization datasets

For our investigation, the research used two standard fine-tuning datasets that showcase different summary characteristics: CNN/DM and XSum. CNN/DM features 3-4 sentence long summaries that are mostly extractive and lead-biased, while XSum consists of single-sentence, highly abstractive summaries.

However, since GPT3-D2's pretraining and instruction-tuning datasets are unknown, you couldn't directly use the test splits of these standard benchmarks. To avoid potential biases, the testers created two new datasets, CNN-2022 and BBC-2022, using 100 recent articles from CNN and BBC, collected between March 1, 2022, and June 31, 2022.

Outlining how the different models are used & results

Here’s how the usage was outlined for each of the models required.

generations of n sentences with zero shot news summarization

To generate summaries with GPT3-D2, testers employed a standard sentence-count prompt template, which takes the form of "Summarize the above article in N sentences." For the CNN dataset, we set N = 3, aiming to generate summaries that span three sentences, in line with the typical length of summaries in the CNN/DM dataset. For the BBC dataset, we set N = 1, targeting single-sentence summaries that are more characteristic of the XSum dataset.

By using these sentence-count prompts, testers guided GPT3-D2 to generate summaries that closely matched the styles found in the respective datasets. This approach allowed them to effectively compare the performance of GPT3-D2 with other state-of-the-art fine-tuned summarization models, such as BRIO and T0, and evaluate the potential advantages of zero-shot learning in the context of text summarization.

The BRIO models have been trained specifically for generating high-quality summaries on standard benchmark datasets such as CNN/DM and XSum. For the CNN/DM dataset, testers used the publicly released BRIO-CNN/DM model, which has been fine-tuned to produce summaries that are approximately 3-4 sentences long, highly extractive, and lead-biased, in line with the reference summaries in this dataset. For the XSum dataset, testers used the BRIO-XSum model, which has been fine-tuned to generate highly abstractive, single-sentence summaries of BBC news articles, closely resembling the reference summaries in the XSum dataset.

To ensure a maximally fair comparison between BRIO models and the zero-shot GPT3-D2 model, testers took additional steps to improve the output of the BRIO-XSum model. For instance, they selected a better summary from the beam when the initial output had obvious failures or removed the first sentence of the article and resampled a new summary if necessary. For the T0 model, they used a prompt selected from its prompt repository for CNN/DM and XSum datasets. By comparing these three models, testers aimed to gain insights into the performance of zero-shot GPT-3 summaries against state-of-the-art fine-tuned summarization models and explore the potential of zero-shot summaries in tasks beyond generic summarization.

Deep Dive: A Comprehensive Look at Summarization Systems and Their Impact on the Field

In this deep dive, we provide a more detailed discussion of the differences between the summarization systems GPT3-D2, BRIO, and T0, the results of the experiments, and the far-reaching implications for the field of text summarization research.

Differences Between Summarization Systems

Generated summaries of the 3 models for different articles

A closer look at the different summarization systems reveals unique characteristics in their summaries:

1. For CNN articles, BRIO summaries tend to be highly extractive, often including numerous named entities like dates, percentages, and names. This reflects the characteristics of the CNN/DM dataset it was trained on. These summaries are often dense with information but can sometimes miss the broader context of the article.

2. GPT3-D2 summaries, on the other hand, are more abstractive and less specific, providing a more comprehensive overview of the article's content. This makes the summaries more readable and easier to understand, even if they lack some of the finer details found in the BRIO summaries.

3. For BBC articles, BRIO and T0 summaries are more abstractive compared to GPT3-D2 summaries. This can be attributed to the XSum training data used to train both BRIO and T0 models.

4. GPT3-D2 summaries do not show any significant differences in abstractiveness between datasets, indicating that the model is more consistent across different data sources.

Statistics of generated summaries. GPT-3 clearly did the best job of following the constraints

Furthermore, GPT3-D2 summaries tend to have longer sentences, resulting in longer summaries for both datasets. This could potentially influence human preference judgments, as longer summaries may be perceived as more informative or comprehensive.

Results of Human Evaluation

A look at the percentage of times a specific summarization method is chosen as the best or worst option by a group of human evaluators.

The runs reveal that human reviewers overwhelmingly prefer zero-shot GPT3-D2 summaries across two different "styles" with different prompts (three-sentence and single-sentence). The preference for GPT3-D2 was significantly higher than that for the next best model, with a difference of at least 20 percentage points in both cases. These zero-shot summaries do not suffer from limitations due to low-quality training data that often affect fine-tuned generic summarization models (Maynez et al., 2020; Goyal et al., 2022). It is important to note that while the next best model differed between the two datasets, annotators consistently ranked GPT3-D2 as the best system. For BBC articles, T0 summaries were preferred over BRIO, while for CNN articles, BRIO summaries were preferred over T0.

Distribution of human reviewer votes across all models and both datasets. This is a great way to show the variance of the reviewer's idea of what the “best” summary looks like.

The reviewers' preferences highlight the limitations of existing fine-tuned models and the potential superiority of zero-shot GPT-3 summaries. However, it is crucial to recognize that annotator preferences can vary, and there is no universal definition of a "good" summary.

Impact on news summarization moving forward

These findings have profound implications for text summarization research. The strong preference for GPT based model summaries challenges the value of incremental improvements reported in other human evaluation settings and questions the continued focus on hill-climbing on standard datasets like CNN/DM. The idea of a “good” summary is completely relative to the reader, which is one of the reasons why we believe prompt based LLMs will be the future of summarization. It’s very easy to adjust the model's summarization “focus” quickly when using a system that just focuses on a few examples as its guidance. If you have a user or use case that requires a very unique summary like blended summarization of legal clauses you can simply focus on crafting prompt instructions and few prompt examples that outline the results you want. This is much easier than trying to build a massive dataset of your exact output summaries to retrain one of these fine-tuning models or fitting a pretrained model and dataset to your goal summaries. We've found through our production summarization build that customers usually want more of a mix of abstractive and extractive summarization instead of the strict summaries these fine-tuning datasets provide.

Deep Dive: Evaluating GPT3-D2 Summaries and the Role of Automatic Metrics

Given the remarkable performance of GPT3-D2 in generating those high-quality news summaries, it's crucial to understand how well existing automatic metrics can evaluate these zero-shot summaries. In our research, we examined two categories of automatic metrics:

1. Reference-based metrics, which compare generated summaries against available gold summaries. Examples include ROUGE, METEOR, BLEU, BERTScore, MoverScore, and QAEval.

2. Reference-free metrics, which only rely on the input document and do not require gold summaries. Examples include SUPERT, BLANC, QuestEval, QAFactEval, FactCC, DAE, and SummaC.

Reference-Based Metrics: Falling Short

A quick look at the performance metrics of different summarization systems based on reference-based metrics. Prompt based models like GPT-3 clearly perform worse on these metrics compared to fine-tuned models.

The findings revealed that GPT3-D2 summaries scored much lower on reference-based metrics (7 ROUGE-L points on average) than all prior state-of-the-art models, even though they comfortably outperformed them in human evaluation. This discrepancy indicates that these metrics are not reliable for evaluating zero-shot GPT-3 summaries. Let’s talk about why this might be.

Mismatch in Summary Characteristics

Reference-based metrics, such as ROUGE, METEOR, BLEU, BERTScore, and MoverScore, rely on comparing the generated summary with the gold (reference) summary. However, GPT3-D2 summaries exhibit key differences from the reference summaries, including being more abstractive and less specific. Metrics that focus on token or phrase overlaps, like ROUGE and BLEU, may penalize GPT3-D2 summaries for not matching the exact wording or named entities found in the reference summaries, even if they accurately convey the main ideas using more words or a more abstract idea of the specific keywords.

bleu score calculation
BLEU Score

No Limitation of Reference Summaries

GPT3-D2 is not trained to emulate reference summaries, unlike fine-tuned summarization models. As a result, the generated summaries may deviate from the specific styles or structures found in gold summaries. Reference-based metrics, which inherently favor summaries that closely resemble the gold summaries, may not account for the unique strengths of GPT3-D2 summaries and, consequently, assign them lower scores.

Dataset-Specific Biases

Reference-based metrics are influenced by the characteristics of the dataset they were trained on or evaluated against. For instance, if a dataset's gold summaries are predominantly extractive, metrics that favor extractive summaries may perform better. Since GPT3-D2 is not explicitly fine-tuned on these datasets, it is not optimized to generate summaries that cater to these dataset-specific biases, which can result in lower scores on reference-based metrics. This is actually one of the key benefits of using these language models that we talked about above.

Variability in Human Preferences

Human preferences for summaries can vary widely, and there is no universally agreed-upon definition of a "good" summary. Reference-based metrics implicitly assume that the gold summaries are the ideal summaries, but this may not always be the case. GPT3-D2 summaries, which are more abstractive and provide a broader overview of the content, may be preferred by some annotators over the more specific and extractive gold summaries, despite scoring lower on these metrics.

Moving Forward with Evaluation of GPT with Reference Based Metrics

The limitations of reference-based metrics in evaluating GPT3-D2 summaries highlight the need for more robust evaluation methods that can account for the unique characteristics of zero-shot summaries. Future research should focus on developing new evaluation frameworks that better align with human preferences and can effectively measure the quality of summaries generated by a wide range of summarization systems, including zero-shot GPT-3 and other similar models.

Reference-Free Metrics and Suggestions for Improvement

The examination of reference-free metrics in evaluating GPT3-D2 summaries revealed some shortcomings that prevent them from reliably reflecting human preference rankings between different summarization systems. In this expanded discussion, we'll delve deeper into the results and findings, as well as offer some suggestions for improvement.

A quick look at the summarization results for the different models while being scored by reference-free evaluation metrics.
A quick look at the summarization results for the different models while being scored by reference-free evaluation metrics.

Researchers analyzed the performance of both quality metrics (SUPERT and BLANC) and factuality metrics (QuestEval, QAFactEval, FactCC, DAE, and SummaC) in evaluating GPT3-D2 summaries. Our results showed that none of these metrics could consistently align with the actual quality of the generated summaries or capture the human preference rankings between GPT3-D2, BRIO, and T0 models.

For instance, GPT3-D2 summaries reported low factuality scores (except for XSum), even though we rarely found factual errors in our qualitative analysis. This suggests that the reference-free metrics may not always accurately assess the factuality of summaries generated by zero-shot models like GPT3-D2.

Suggestions for Improvement:

To enhance the performance of reference-free metrics in evaluating GPT3-D2 summaries and other similar models, we propose the following suggestions:

1. Revisit the design choices: Completely reference-free metrics, like QuestEval and QAFactEval, have been evaluated on reference-based benchmarks and fine-tuned models. Their design choices, such as selecting question answering or question generation models, have been influenced by the error space of prior fine-tuned models. It is crucial to revisit these decisions and adapt them to incorporate GPT3-D2 evaluation.

Example results from the QAFactEval paper
Example results from the QAFactEval paper

2. Develop new metrics: Design and develop new reference-free metrics that are more robust to the unique characteristics of zero-shot summaries, such as their abstractive nature and differences in summary style. These new metrics should be tailored to capture the nuances in zero-shot summaries and have a strong correlation with human preferences.

3. Evaluate metrics using diverse datasets: Test the reference-free metrics on a broader range of datasets, including those with different summary styles, lengths, and domains. This will help identify the limitations and biases of the metrics and ensure that they can generalize well to different summarization tasks.

4. Fine-tune metrics on zero-shot models: For metrics like FactCC and DAE that rely on reference summaries during training, consider fine-tuning them on zero-shot models like GPT3-D2 to better capture their strengths and weaknesses. This would help the metrics to adapt to the shift from fine-tuned to zero-shot summarization space.

The Future of Summarization Evaluation

I think the key idea here is that metrics used across all use cases of summarization will continue to struggle if not tuned for each use case. We’re big fans of human evaluation of summaries as we can see in this article this much better aligns with summaries generated from LLMs. Real production level summarization systems need to be slightly tweaked and refined to customer specific summaries which isn’t something easy to do with reference-free or reference-based metrics. OpenAi open sourcing the Evals library is a great step towards moving towards new methods of evaluation that better fit prompt based LLMs.

Going Beyond Generic News Summarization with GPT

While instruct GPT has demonstrated its prowess in generating high-quality generic summaries, one of the key areas of interest is exploring its potential in tasks beyond generic news summarization. In this deep dive, we'll focus on two such tasks - keyword-based summarization and aspect-based summarization - and discuss the impact of these alternative approaches on the field of text summarization.

Exploring Keyword-Based Summarization with Prompt Based LLMs

Keyword-based summarization is an important area of research, as it caters to users' specific information needs by generating summaries that focus on given keywords. The ability of GPT3-D2 to excel in keyword-based summarization has significant implications for the field of text summarization. In this extended deep dive, we'll explore the keyword-based summarization process with GPT3-D2 and provide examples of prompts used in our experiments.

Process and Prompt Examples

To generate keyword-based summaries with instruct GPT3, we used named entities extracted from the input articles as control units or keywords. The model was then prompted to generate a summary that focuses on the given keyword. For example, if the input article discusses a political event involving "Donald Trump" and "Russian interference," the prompt for GPT3-D2 might look like this:

"Summarize the above article, focusing on the keyword 'Donald Trump.'"

Above prompt with GPT-4

Similarly, for the keyword "Russian interference," the prompt would be: "Summarize the above article, emphasizing the keyword 'Russian interference.'"


By providing such prompts, GPT can generate summaries that address the specific keywords, offering users targeted information based on their unique interests.

Impact of Keyword-Based Summarization with GPT

The success of GPT in keyword-based summarization has several implications for text summarization research and applications:

1. Flexibility: Zero-shot GPT models like GPT3-D2 offer a flexible alternative to fine-tuned models, which often require task-specific training data. By leveraging natural language prompts, GPT3-D2 can adapt to various keywords and generate relevant summaries without additional fine-tuning.

2. Improved User Experience: By generating coherent and keyword-relevant summaries, GPT3-D2 can provide users with more targeted information, catering to their specific interests and improving their overall experience.

3. Personalization: The ability of GPT3-D2 to generate keyword-based summaries opens up possibilities for personalized content summarization in various applications, such as news aggregators, search engines, and content recommendation systems.

4. Future Research Directions: The success of GPT3-D2 in keyword-based summarization indicates the potential of zero-shot models to tackle other specialized summarization tasks. This encourages researchers to explore the capabilities of such models in different domains and develop more advanced systems that cater to users' diverse information needs.

We can see that GPT3-D2 consistently generated more coherent and keyword-relevant summaries than the CTRLSum baseline. Human annotators preferred GPT3-D2 keyword based summaries over CTRLSum 70% of the time, citing better contextualization of keyword-related information and improved coherence. GPT3-D2's performance in keyword-based summarization not only demonstrates the strengths of zero-shot models in specialized summarization tasks but also opens up new avenues for research and applications in the field of text summarization. By leveraging the adaptability and flexibility of zero-shot models, you can develop more effective and personalized summarization systems that cater to users' unique interests and requirements.

Investigating Aspect-Based Summarization with GPT-3

Aspect-based summarization is a crucial area in news summarization, as it aims to generate summaries that address specific high-level topics or aspects common across similar types of documents. GPT3-D2's mixed performance in aspect-based summarization presents opportunities for further exploration and improvement. In this deep dive, we'll delve into the aspect-based summarization process with GPT3-D2, provide examples of prompts used in our experiments, and discuss the potential impact on the field.

Process and Prompt Examples

For aspect-based summarization, we used high-level topics, or aspects, as control units. The model was then prompted to generate a summary addressing the particular aspect. To illustrate, let's consider an input article that discusses a legal case. We can use predefined aspects like "defendants" and "charges" to generate aspect-focused summaries. The prompts for GPT3-D2 might look like this:

Here’s a look at an aspect-based summary with GPT-4.

Aspect-based summarization GPT-4
Aspect-based summarization GPT-4

By providing such prompts, GPT can generate summaries that address the specific aspects, offering more targeted information based on users' requirements.

Impact of Aspect-Based Summarization with GPT3-D2

Zero-shot GPT-3 struggled to produce factually correct summaries for aspect-based summarization.
Zero-shot GPT-3 struggled to produce factually correct summaries for aspect-based summarization.

While GPT's performance in aspect-based summarization was mixed, the insights gained from our experiments have several implications for text summarization research and applications:

1. Understanding Limitations: The mixed results highlight the need to further investigate GPT's limitations in aspect-based summarization. Identifying the reasons behind the model's shortcomings can inform future research and model improvements.

2. Improved Prompts: The experiments revealed that GPT3-D2 sometimes struggled with simple prompts for aspect-based summarization. Developing more effective prompts or using more explicit instructions could improve GPT3-D2's performance in this task.

3. Transfer Learning: The mixed performance of GPT3-D2 in aspect-based summarization may encourage researchers to explore transfer learning techniques, where a model trained on related tasks can be fine-tuned for aspect-based summarization, potentially improving its performance.

4. Future Research Directions: The limitations of GPT3-D2 in aspect-based summarization present opportunities for future research. By exploring the capabilities of zero-shot models in different domains and devising new strategies for aspect-based summarization, researchers can develop advanced systems that better cater to users' diverse information needs.

The mixed performance of GPT3-D2 in aspect-based summarization presents challenges and opportunities for the field of text summarization. By examining the limitations of GPT3-D2 and seeking improvements through more effective prompts, transfer learning techniques, and exploring new research directions, we can advance the field and develop better aspect-based summarization systems that meet users' unique information requirements.

Impact on the Field of News Summarization

The findings highlight the potential of zero-shot GPT models like GPT3-D2 and GPT-4 for specialized summarization tasks like keyword-based summarization that can be flexibly adapted using natural language prompts. Unlike fine-tuned models, which are constrained by the availability of task-specific data, zero-shot models can seamlessly adapt to new tasks without requiring massive amounts of additional training data.

Shifting Paradigms in News Summarization

The advent of zero-shot GPT models has significantly impacted the field of news summarization, introducing new approaches and challenging established practices. Below, we outline the key aspects of this paradigm shift and how they are transforming the landscape of news summarization:

1. Outperforming Fine-Tuned Models: Experiments demonstrated that zero-shot GPT3-D2 summaries are overwhelmingly preferred by human annotators over state-of-the-art fine-tuned models. This finding suggests that GPT3-D2 offers a more flexible and adaptable approach to generating high-quality summaries without the need for large, domain-specific training datasets. This shift allows for more efficient and effective news summarization techniques that can better cater to users' diverse information needs.

2. Rethinking Evaluation Metrics: The success of GPT3-D2 has revealed the limitations of existing automatic metrics, both reference-based and reference-free, in evaluating zero-shot summaries. This highlights the need for developing new evaluation frameworks that can effectively assess the quality of summaries generated by zero-shot models like GPT3-D2, ensuring that future research can accurately measure and compare the performance of different summarization systems. Human based evaluation or OpenAi Evals is still king for evaluated “blended” or domain specific summaries.

3. Expanding Beyond Generic Summarization: GPT3-D2's adaptability to different tasks has opened up new avenues for specialized summarization. Real prompts show that GPT3-D2 excels in keyword-based summarization, consistently generating more coherent and keyword-relevant summaries compared to current fine-tuned alternatives. However, GPT3-D2's mixed performance in aspect-based summarization indicates potential areas for improvement and further exploration, paving the way for more advanced and personalized summarization systems.

4. Embracing Real-World Use Cases: The adaptability and flexibility of GPT3-D2 present exciting opportunities to explore real-world use cases beyond traditional news summarization, such as update summarization, plan-based summarization, and adapting GPT3-D2 to longer documents or structured inputs. By investigating these challenges, researchers can develop innovative solutions that cater to a wide range of user requirements and information needs.

In conclusion, the paradigm shift ushered in by GPT3-D2 has significant implications for the field of news summarization. By embracing these changes and addressing the challenges they present, researchers can continue to advance the field of text summarization, developing more effective systems that cater to users' diverse information needs and preferences.

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Width.ai builds custom summarization tools for use cases just like the ones outlined above. We were one of the early leaders in chunk based summarization of long form documents using GPT-3 and have expanded that knowledge to build summarization systems for GPT-4. Let’s schedule a time to talk about the documents you want to summarize!