Home Glossary Item Pre-training
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Pre-training in artificial intelligence (AI) refers the process of training a machine model on a large-scale dataset to using it for a task. Such a model, from previously established networks, is called a pre-trained model. The concept behind pre-training lies in its ability to extract and learn general patterns from large-scale datasets, which can then be applied or fine-tuned to more specific tasks, even if the data available for those tasks is limited.


Pre-training leverages the principle of transfer learning, where the knowledge gained from solving a larger, more general problem is transferred to solve a smaller, similar problem. In the context of deep learning models, this involves training a model on a large and diverse dataset, like ImageNet for image tasks or large textual corpus for Natural Language Processing (NLP) tasks, allowing the model to learn a vast range of features. This pre-trained model can then be tweaked with a smaller amount of task-specific data to improve its performance for the particular task.

The pre-training phase in AI has played a significant role in many successful deep learning applications. It has dramatically reduced the time, computational resources, and data needed to build effective systems for tasks in fields such as computer vision, NLP, and more. By taking advantage of patterns and structures learned in pre-training, sophisticated AI applications can be developed more efficiently and economically, enabling more widespread and diverse applications of AI technology.

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