Toward Human Readable Prompt Tuning: Kubrick's The Shining is a good movie, and a good prompt too?


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Large language models can perform new tasks in a zero-shot fashion, given natural language prompts that specify the desired behavior. Such prompts are typically hand engineered, but can also be learned with gradient-based methods from labeled data. However, it is underexplored what factors make the prompts effective, especially when the prompts are natural language. In this paper, we investigate common attributes shared by effective prompts. We first propose a human readable prompt tuning method (F LUENT P ROMPT) based on Langevin dynamics that incorporates a fluency constraint to find a diverse distribution of effective and fluent prompts. Our analysis reveals that effective prompts are topically related to the task domain and calibrate the prior probability of label words. Based on these findings, we also propose a method for generating prompts using only unlabeled data, outperforming strong baselines by an average of 7.0% accuracy across three tasks.
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