Towards Probing Contact Center Large Language Models

Published on Dec 26, 2023


Fine-tuning large language models (LLMs) with domain-specific instructions has emerged as an effective method to enhance their domain-specific understanding. Yet, there is limited work that examines the core characteristics acquired during this process. In this study, we benchmark the fundamental characteristics learned by contact-center (CC) specific instruction fine-tuned LLMs with out-of-the-box (OOB) LLMs via probing tasks encompassing conversational, channel, and automatic speech recognition (ASR) properties. We explore different LLM architectures (Flan-T5 and Llama), sizes (3B, 7B, 11B, 13B), and fine-tuning paradigms (full fine-tuning vs PEFT). Our findings reveal remarkable effectiveness of CC-LLMs on the in-domain downstream tasks, with improvement in response acceptability by over 48% compared to OOB-LLMs. Additionally, we compare the performance of OOB-LLMs and CC-LLMs on the widely used SentEval dataset, and assess their capabilities in terms of surface, syntactic, and semantic information through probing tasks. Intriguingly, we note a relatively consistent performance of probing classifiers on the set of probing tasks. Our observations indicate that CC-LLMs, while outperforming their out-of-the-box counterparts, exhibit a tendency to rely less on encoding surface, syntactic, and semantic properties, highlighting the intricate interplay between domain-specific adaptation and probing task performance opening up opportunities to explore behavior of fine-tuned language models in specialized contexts.


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