UPDATED 12:10 EST / JULY 13 2023


Report: Meta plans to release its AI model for commercial use

Meta Platforms Inc. is planning to release a commercial version of its artificial intelligence model designed for commercial use, according to a report today from the Financial Times.

Meta released its foundational large language model, known as Large Language Model Meta AI or LLaMA, as open source earlier this year for academics to use for research purposes and it quickly became the foundation for many open-source models. The new commercial version would allow businesses to customize their own AI models, based on their proprietary data, with enterprise tools.

By building a commercial version of its AI model, the company will be able to compete with Microsoft-backed OpenAI LP and Google LLC, which currently dominate the commercial market share for generative AI LLMs. Generative AI models are capable of understanding and generating conversational text, doing research, producing computer code, and generating vivid images.

“The goal is to diminish the current dominance of OpenAI,” a source with knowledge of high-level strategy told the Financial Times.

Although currently Meta is behind in the commercial landscape, its LLaMA model is well-known and highly prolific in the open-source community because after its February release its code was leaked broadly in March. That means it’s widely used and has gone through numerous iterations and forks within the open-source community, giving Meta’s AI a leg up when it comes to developers familiar with its models.

“The competitive landscape of AI is going to completely change in the coming months, in the coming weeks maybe, when there will be open-source platforms that are actually as good as the ones that are not,” Yann LeCun, Meta’s vice president and chief AI scientist, said at a conference in France on Saturday.

According to the report, the release of the new commercial model and customization service is “imminent.” Meta intends to provide its commercial AI model for free at launch, but it could explore monetization options in the future. According to one source familiar with Meta, the company may also charge enterprise companies for the service of training and fine-tuning the model with their own proprietary data.

The news comes at a time when other companies have been iterating and pushing forward with and improving their own models. They include Anthropic, another OpenAI rival looking to build “trustworthy” AI models, which released an upgraded Claude 2 chatbot this week with improved coding capabilities.

At the same time, OpenAI and Meta are getting increased regulatory and legal attention for their use of data when training their models regarding intellectual property and copyright. Earlier this week, comedian and author Sarah Silverman filed a lawsuit claiming that the companies used copyrighted materials from one of her books when training their AI models. Similarly, legislators in the European Union are drafting laws to require AI models to disclose copyrighted materials used during training.

Image: Pixabay

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