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AI's Quiet Revolution-The Rise of Compound AI Systems Above Conventional AI Models

· 8 min read


Moving from the reliance on standalone AI models like large language models (LLMs) to the more complex and collaborative compound AI systems like AlphaGeometry and Retrieval Augmented Generation (RAG) system, a subtle but significant transition is underway as we navigate the recent developments in artificial intelligence (AI). In 2023, this evolution has accelerated, indicating a paradigm shift in the way AI can manage a variety of scenarios—not just by scaling up models but also by strategically assembling multi-component systems. By combining the capabilities of several AI systems, this method solves difficult issues more quickly and effectively. This blog will discuss compound artificial intelligence systems, their benefits, and the difficulties in creating them.

Compound AI System (CAS): What is it?

To effectively handle AI activities, a system known as a Compound AI System (CAS) incorporates several components, such as retrievers, databases, AI models, and external tools. Whereas the Transformer-based LLM and other prior AI systems rely solely on one AI model, CAS places a strong emphasis on the integration of several tools. Examples of CAS are the RAG system, which combines an LLM with a database and retriever to answer questions about specific documents, and AlphaGeometry, which combines an LLM with a conventional symbolic solver to solve Olympiad problems. It's critical to comprehend the differences between multimodal AI and CAS in this context.

While CAS integrates multiple interacting components, such as language models and search engines, to improve performance and adaptability in AI tasks, multimodal AI concentrates on processing and integrating data from various modalities—text, images, and audio—to make informed predictions or responses, similar to the Gemini model.

What kind of Components are in a Compound AI System?

A compound artificial intelligence system is made up of multiple essential parts, each of which is vital to the system. Depending on the kind of tasks the system does, the components may change. Let's look at an AI system that, given textual user input, creates artistic visuals (like MidJourney). The following elements could be combined to produce excellent artistic outputs:

1. LLM, or large language model:

In order to grasp the intended content, style, and creative components, an LLM component examines the user's text description.

2. Image generation component:

This part uses a large dataset of previously created artwork and artistic styles to produce a number of candidate images based on the LLM's perception.

3. Diffusion model:

This is probably used in a text-to-image system to improve the quality and coherence of the final image by gradually adding information to the original image outputs.

4. Integration of user feedback:

By choosing their favorite variations or responding to text questions, users can offer input on created images. The system refines successive image iterations with the aid of this feedback loop.

5. Component of ranking and selection:

It considers user preferences and fidelity to the original description while using ranking algorithms to choose the best image from the generated possibilities.

Creating CAS: Techniques and Approaches

Developers and academics are experimenting with different construction approaches in order to take advantage of the advantages of CAS. The two main methods are listed below:

1. Neuro-Symbolic Methodology:

This approach combines the logical reasoning and structured knowledge processing powers of symbolic AI with the pattern recognition and learning characteristics of neural networks. The idea is to combine the structured, logical reasoning of symbolic AI with the intuitive data processing capabilities of neural networks. The goal of this combination is to improve AI's capacity for adaptation, reasoning, and learning. AlphaGeometry from Google is an example of this strategy in action. It predicts geometric patterns using neural big language models and handles reasoning and proof production with symbolic AI components.

2. Programming using Language Models:

This method entails the use of frameworks created to combine massive language models with data sources, APIs, and other AI models. These frameworks facilitate the smooth integration of calls to AI models with other components, which in turn makes it possible to create intricate applications. With the use of agent frameworks like AutoGPT and BabyAGI, and libraries like LangChain and LlamaIndex, this approach enables the development of sophisticated applications like RAG systems and conversational agents like WikiChat. This strategy is centered on utilizing language models' broad range of capabilities to enhance and broaden the applications of AI.

Benefits of CAS

Comparing CAS to conventional single model-based AI, there are numerous benefits. Among these benefits are the following:

1. Improved Output:

CAS combines several parts, each with a specific function. These systems perform better overall by utilizing the advantages of each individual component. For instance, integrating a symbolic solution and a language model can produce more accurate results in jobs involving programming and logical reasoning.

2. Adaptability and Flexibility:

Complex systems are able to adjust to a variety of activities and inputs. Developers don't have to completely rebuild the system to change or improve specific parts. This adaptability enables quick changes and enhancements.

3. Sturdiness and Adaptability:

Robustness and redundancy are provided by diverse components. The system will remain stable even if one component fails since the others can take over. For example, a chatbot with retrieval-augmented generation (RAG) may gracefully handle missing data.

4. Interpretable and Explicit:

These systems are transparent and comprehensible since we can see how each component contributes to the ultimate result by using several components. Trust and debugging depend on this openness.

5. Efficiency and Specialization:

CAS makes use of several parts that are experts in different AI tasks. A CAS intended for medical diagnostics, for instance, might combine a component that is highly skilled at interpreting patient histories and notes with another component that is specialized in natural language processing to analyze medical pictures, such as CT or MRI scans. This specialization improves the overall efficacy and precision of the diagnostics by enabling each component of the system to function effectively within its designated domain.

6. Innovative Collaboration:

Combining various elements releases creativity and fosters inventive thinking. For example, coherent multimedia narratives can be produced using a system that combines text production, image creation, and music composition. This integration shows how the synergy between several AI technologies can stimulate new kinds of creative expression by enabling the system to create complex, multi-sensory material that would be difficult to generate with separate components.

Difficulties in the Development of CAS

There are several important issues in developing CAS that researchers and developers need to tackle. The process entails integrating various components. For example, building a RAG system entails putting a retriever, a vector database, and a language model together. The complexity of designing a compound artificial intelligence system stems from the availability of multiple possibilities for each component, necessitating a meticulous examination of possible pairings. The need to carefully manage resources, such as time and money, in order to guarantee the development process is as efficient as possible, further complicates this position.

After a compound artificial intelligence system is designed, it usually goes through a phase of refining with the goal of improving overall performance. To optimize the system's performance, this phase involves fine-tuning how the various components interact with one another. Using a RAG system as an example, this procedure might entail modifying how the vector database, retriever, and LLMs collaborate in order to enhance information creation and retrieval.

There are more difficulties when optimizing a system like RAG than when optimizing individual models, which is really simple. This is especially true when the system consists of less adjustable components like search engines. The optimization procedure becomes more complex as a result of this constraint, compared to optimizing single-component systems.


Compound AI Systems (CAS) are a symptom of a more sophisticated approach to AI development, where the emphasis has shifted from improving stand-alone models to creating systems that incorporate many AI technologies. The advancement of AI is seen in its breakthroughs such as AlphaGeometry and Retrieval Augmented Generation (RAG), which demonstrate how the technology is evolving and becoming more resilient, adaptable, and able to tackle intricate issues with a sophisticated comprehension. In addition to pushing the envelope of what AI is capable of, CAS establishes a framework for future developments where cooperation across AI technologies opens the door to more intelligent, adaptable solutions by utilizing the synergistic potential of various AI components. has a no-code platform - where users can build computer vision models within minutes without any coding. Developers can sign up for free on

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