All You Need to Know to Build Your First LLM App | by Dominik Polzer | Jun, 2023

Next, we must divide the text into smaller sections called text chunks. Each text chunk represents a data point in the embedding space, allowing the computer to determine the similarity between these chunks.

The following text snippet is utilizing the text splitter module from langchain. In this particular case, we specify a chunk size of 100 and a chunk overlap of 20. It’s common to use larger text chunks, but you can experiment a bit to find the optimal size for your use case. You just need to remember that every LLM has a token limit (4000 tokes for GPT 3.5). Since we are inserting the text blocks into our prompt, we need to make sure that the entire prompt is no larger than 4000 tokens.

from langchain.text_splitter import RecursiveCharacterTextSplitter

article_text = content_div.get_text()

text_splitter = RecursiveCharacterTextSplitter(
# Set a really small chunk size, just to show.
chunk_size = 100,
chunk_overlap = 20,
length_function = len,

texts = text_splitter.create_documents([article_text])

This splits our entire text as follows:

Langchain text spliter — Image by the author

Now we need to make the textual components understandable and comparable to our algorithms. We must find a way to convert human language into digital form, represented by bits and bytes.

The image provides a simple example that may seem obvious to most humans. However, we need to find a way to make the computer understand that the name “Charles” is associated with men rather than women, and if Charles is a man, he is the king and not the queen.

Making language understandable for our computer — Image by the author

Over the last few years, new methods and models have emerged that do just that. What we want is a way to be able to translate the meaning of words into an n-dimensional space, so we are able to compare text chunks with each other and even calculate a measure for the similarity of them.

Embedding models attempt to learn exactly that by analyzing the context in which words are typically used. Since tea, coffee, and breakfast are often used in the same context, they are closer to each other in the n-dimensional space than, for example, tea and pea. Tea and pea sound similar but are rarely used together. (AssemblyAI, 2022)

Embeddings analyze the context in which words are used, not the word itself — Image by the author

The embedding models provide us with a vector for each word in the embedding space. Finally, by representing them using vectors, we are able to perform mathematical calculations, such as calculating similarities between words as the distance between data points.

Random english words in a two dimensional embeddings space — Image by the author

To convert text into embeddings, there are several ways, e.g. Word2Vec, GloVe, fastText or ELMo.

Embedding Models

To capture similarities between words in embeddings, Word2Vec uses a simple neural network. We train this model with large amounts of text data and want to create a model that is able to assign a point in the n-dimensional embedding space to each word and thus describe its meaning in the form of a vector.

For the training, we assign a neuron in the input layer to each unique word in our data set. In the image below, you can see a simple example. In this case, the hidden layer contains only two neurons. Two, because we want to map the words in a two dimensional embedding space. (The existing models are in reality much larger and thus represent the words in higher dimensional spaces — OpenAI’s Ada Embedding Model for example, is using 1536 dimensions) After the training process the individual weights describe the position in the embedding space.

In this example, our dataset consists of a single sentence: “Google is a tech company.” Each word in the sentence serves as an input for the neural network (NN). Consequently, our network has five input neurons, one for each word.

During the training process, we focus on predicting the next word for each input word. When we begin at the start of the sentence, the input neuron corresponding to the word “Google” receives a value of 1, while the remaining neurons receive a value of 0. We aim to train the network to predict the word “is” in this particular scenario.

Word2Vec: Learning word embeddings — Image by the author

In reality, there are multiple approaches to learn embedding models, each with its own unique way of predicting outputs during the training process. Two commonly used methods are CBOW (Continuous Bag of Words) and Skip-gram.

In CBOW, we take the surrounding words as input and aim to predict the middle word. Conversely, in Skip-gram, we take the middle word as input and attempt to predict the words occurring on its left and right sides. However, I won’t delve into the intricacies of these methods. Let’s just say that these approaches provide us with embeddings, which are representations that capture the relationships between words by analysing the context of huge amounts of text data.

CBOW vs. Skip-gram — Image by the author

If you want to know more about embeddings, there is a wealth of information available on the internet. However, if you prefer a visual and step-by-step guide, you might find it helpful to watch Josh Starmer’s StatQuest on Word Embedding and Word2Vec.

Back to embedding models

What I just tried to explain using a simple example in a 2-dimensional embedding space also applies to larger models. For instance, the standard Word2Vec vectors have 300 dimensions, while OpenAI’s Ada model has 1536 dimensions. These pretrained vectors allow us to capture the relationships between words and their meanings with such precision that we can perform calculations with them. For example, using these vectors, we can find that France + Berlin — Germany = Paris, and also faster + warm — fast = warmer. (Tazzyman, n.d.)

Calculate with embeddings — Image by the author

In the following we want to use the OpenAI API not only to use OpenAI’s LLMs, but also to leverage their Embedding Models.

Note: The difference between Embedding Models and LLMs is that Embedding Models focus on creating vector representations of words or phrases to capture their meanings and relationships, while LLMs are versatile models trained to generate coherent and contextually relevant text based on provided prompts or queries.

OpenAI Embedding Models

Similar to the various LLMs from OpenAI, you can also choose between a variety of embedding models, such as Ada, Davinci, Curie, and Babbage. Among them, Ada-002 is currently the fastest and most cost-effective model, while Davinci generally provides the highest accuracy and performance. However, you need to try them out yourself and find the optimal model for your use case. If you’re interested in a detailed understanding of OpenAI Embeddings, you can refer to the OpenAI documentation.

Our goal with the Embedding Models is to convert our text chunks into vectors. In the case of the second generation of Ada, these vectors have 1536 output dimensions, which means they represent a specific position or orientation within a 1536-dimensional space.

OpenAI describes these embedding vector in their documentation as follows:

“Embeddings that are numerically similar are also semantically similar. For example, the embedding vector of “canine companions say” will be more similar to the embedding vector of “woof” than that of “meow.” (OpenAI, 2022)

Semantically similar words or phrases are closer to each other in the embedding space — Image by OpenAI

Let’s give it a try. We use OpenAI’s API to translate our text snippets into embeddings as follows:

import openai


embedding = openai.Embedding.create(
input=texts[0].page_content, model="text-embedding-ada-002"


We convert our text, such as the first text chunk containing “2023 text-generating language model,” into a vector with 1536 dimensions. By doing this for each text chunk, we can observe in a 1536-dimensional space which text chunks are closer and more similar to each other.

Let’s give it a try. We aim to compare the users’ questions with the text chunks by generating embeddings for the question and then comparing it with other data points in the space.

Which text segment is semantically closer to the user’s question? — Image by the author

When we represent the text chunks and the user’s question as vectors, we gain the ability to explore various mathematical possibilities. In order to determine the similarity between two data points, we need to calculate their proximity in the multidimensional space, which is achieved using distance metrics. There are several methods available to compute the distance between points. Maarten Grootendorst has summarized nine of them in one of his Medium posts.

A commonly used distance metric is cosine similarity. So let’s try to calculate the cosine similarity between our question and the text chunks:

import numpy as np
from numpy.linalg import norm

# calculate the embeddings for the user's question
users_question = "What is GPT-4?"
question_embedding = get_embedding(text=users_question, model="text-embedding-ada-002")

# create a list to store the calculated cosine similarity
cos_sim = []

for index, row in df.iterrows():
A = row.ada_embedding
B = question_embedding

# calculate the cosine similarity
cosine =,B)/(norm(A)*norm(B))


df["cos_sim"] = cos_sim
df.sort_values(by=["cos_sim"], ascending=False)

Now we have the option to choose the number of text chunks we want to provide to our LLM in order to answer the question.

The next step is to determine which LLM we would like to use.

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