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Privacy-Preserving In-Context Learning for Large Language Models

Tong Wu · Ashwinee Panda · Jiachen (Tianhao) Wang · Prateek Mittal

Halle B #216
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Wed 8 May 7:30 a.m. PDT — 9:30 a.m. PDT


In-context learning (ICL) is an important capability of Large Language Models (LLMs), enabling these models to dynamically adapt based on specific, in-context exemplars, thereby improving accuracy and relevance.However, LLM's responses may leak the sensitive private information contained in in-context exemplars. To address this challenge, we propose Differentially Private In-context Learning (DP-ICL), a general paradigm for privatizing ICL tasks. The key idea for DP-ICL paradigm is generating differentially private responses through a noisy consensus among an ensemble of LLM's responses based on disjoint exemplar sets. Based on the general paradigm of DP-ICL, we instantiate several techniques showing how to privatize ICL for text classification and language generation. We experiment on four text classification benchmarks and two language generation tasks, and our empirical findings suggest that our DP-ICL achieves a strong utility-privacy tradeoff.

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