Let's Think Outside the Box: Exploring Leap-of-Thought in Large Language Models with Creative Humor Generation

5 Dec 2023  ·  Shanshan Zhong, Zhongzhan Huang, ShangHua Gao, Wushao Wen, Liang Lin, Marinka Zitnik, Pan Zhou ·

Chain-of-Thought (CoT) guides large language models (LLMs) to reason step-by-step, and can motivate their logical reasoning ability. While effective for logical tasks, CoT is not conducive to creative problem-solving which often requires out-of-box thoughts and is crucial for innovation advancements. In this paper, we explore the Leap-of-Thought (LoT) abilities within LLMs -- a non-sequential, creative paradigm involving strong associations and knowledge leaps. To this end, we study LLMs on the popular Oogiri game which needs participants to have good creativity and strong associative thinking for responding unexpectedly and humorously to the given image, text, or both, and thus is suitable for LoT study. Then to investigate LLMs' LoT ability in the Oogiri game, we first build a multimodal and multilingual Oogiri-GO dataset which contains over 130,000 samples from the Oogiri game, and observe the insufficient LoT ability or failures of most existing LLMs on the Oogiri game. Accordingly, we introduce a creative Leap-of-Thought (CLoT) paradigm to improve LLM's LoT ability. CLoT first formulates the Oogiri-GO dataset into LoT-oriented instruction tuning data to train pretrained LLM for achieving certain LoT humor generation and discrimination abilities. Then CLoT designs an explorative self-refinement that encourages the LLM to generate more creative LoT data via exploring parallels between seemingly unrelated concepts and selects high-quality data to train itself for self-refinement. CLoT not only excels in humor generation in the Oogiri game but also boosts creative abilities in various tasks like cloud guessing game and divergent association task. These findings advance our understanding and offer a pathway to improve LLMs' creative capacities for innovative applications across domains. The dataset, code, and models will be released online. https://zhongshsh.github.io/CLoT/.

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