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Generative AI with LLMs: How Information Retrieval Techniques Can Improve Your LLM Application

Learn how information retrieval techniques can help your LLM application to generate more relevant, accurate, and up-to-date outputs by accessing and integrating external sources of knowledge.


How can incorporating information retrieval techniques improve your LLM application? Select all that apply.

A. Improve relevance and accuracy of responses
B. Faster training speed when compared to traditional models
C. Overcome Knowledge Cut-offs
D. Reduced memory footprint for the model


A. Improve relevance and accuracy of responses
C. Overcome Knowledge Cut-offs


The correct answers are A and C. Incorporating information retrieval techniques can improve your LLM application by improving the relevance and accuracy of responses and overcoming knowledge cut-offs.

A is true because information retrieval techniques can help your LLM application to access external sources of knowledge, such as the internet, documents, or databases, and use them to generate more relevant and accurate responses. For example, Retrieval Augmented Generation (RAG) is an AI framework that combines pre-trained language models, such as GPT-4, with a retrieval mechanism that selects the most relevant information for a given input prompt and passes it to the language model, which then generates an output that incorporates the retrieved information. This way, RAG can improve the quality, diversity, and factual accuracy of the generated outputs, as well as provide users with insight into the model’s generative process.

C is true because information retrieval techniques can help your LLM application to overcome knowledge cut-offs, which are the limitations of the pre-trained language models to generate outputs that are consistent with the current state of the world or the latest developments in a domain. For example, Knowledge Cut-off Aware (KCA) is an AI framework that leverages information retrieval techniques to identify and resolve knowledge cut-offs in pre-trained language models. KCA uses a knowledge base to store the latest facts and a knowledge updater to keep the knowledge base up to date. KCA also uses a knowledge retriever to fetch the relevant facts from the knowledge base and a knowledge integrator to inject the facts into the language model’s generation process. This way, KCA can generate outputs that are more up to date and consistent with the real world.

B is false because information retrieval techniques do not necessarily improve the training speed of your LLM application when compared to traditional models. In fact, information retrieval techniques may introduce additional computational and storage costs, as they require accessing and processing large amounts of external information. For example, RAG requires retrieving information from a large-scale document collection, such as Wikipedia, and passing it to the language model, which may increase the latency and memory consumption of the generation process.

D is false because information retrieval techniques do not reduce the memory footprint of the model. On the contrary, information retrieval techniques may increase the memory footprint of the model, as they require storing and managing additional information sources. For example, KCA requires maintaining a large-scale knowledge base and a knowledge updater, which may increase the memory requirements of the model.

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Alex Lim is a certified IT Technical Support Architect with over 15 years of experience in designing, implementing, and troubleshooting complex IT systems and networks. He has worked for leading IT companies, such as Microsoft, IBM, and Cisco, providing technical support and solutions to clients across various industries and sectors. Alex has a bachelor’s degree in computer science from the National University of Singapore and a master’s degree in information security from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is also the author of several best-selling books on IT technical support, such as The IT Technical Support Handbook and Troubleshooting IT Systems and Networks. Alex lives in Bandar, Johore, Malaysia with his wife and two chilrdren. You can reach him at [email protected] or follow him on Website | Twitter | Facebook

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