we present the novel idea of Language Model Programming (LMP). LMP generalizes language model prompting from pure text prompts to an intuitive combination of text prompting and scripting. Additionally, LMP allows constraints to be specified over the language model output. This enables easy adaption to many tasks, while abstracting language model internals and providing high-level semantics.
To enable LMP, we implement LMQL (short for Language Model Query Language), which leverages the constraints and control flow from an LMP prompt to generate an efficient inference procedure that minimizes the number of expensive calls to the underlying language model.
We show that LMQL can capture a wide range of state-of-the-art prompting methods in an intuitive way, especially facilitating interactive flows that are challenging to implement with existing high-level APIs. Our evaluation shows that we retain or increase the accuracy on several downstream tasks, while also significantly reducing the required amount of computation or cost in the case of pay-to-use APIs (13-85% cost savings).