WikiChat: A Few-Shot LLM-Based Chatbot Grounded with Wikipedia

Sina J. Semnani, Violet Z. Yao, Heidi C. Zhang, Monica S. Lam

Despite recent advances in Large Language Models (LLMs), users still cannot trust the information provided in their responses. LLMs cannot speak accurately about events that occurred after their training, which are often topics of great interest to users, and, as we show in this paper, they are highly prone to hallucination when talking about less popular (tail) topics. This paper presents WikiChat, a few-shot LLM-based chatbot that is grounded with live information from Wikipedia. Through many iterations of experimentation, we have crafte a pipeline based on information retrieval that (1) uses LLMs to suggest interesting and relevant facts that are individually verified against Wikipedia, (2) retrieves additional up-to-date information, and (3) composes coherent and engaging time-aware responses. We propose a novel hybrid human-and-LLM evaluation methodology to analyze the factuality and conversationality of LLM-based chatbots. We focus on evaluating important but previously neglected issues such as conversing about recent and tail topics. We evaluate WikiChat against strong fine-tuned and LLM-based baselines across a diverse set of conversation topics. We find that WikiChat outperforms all baselines in terms of the factual accuracy of its claims, by up to 12.1%, 28.3% and 32.7% on head, recent and tail topics, while matching GPT-3.5 in terms of providing natural, relevant, non-repetitive and informational responses.

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