Meta and Microsoft announced an expanded artificial intelligence partnership with the release of their new large language model (LLM), Llama 2, free for research and commercial use.
This marks the latest trend toward an open LLM development and training approach.
Meta Releases Llama 2
Meta’s announced Llama 2, now accessible through Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, Hugging Face, and other providers.
You get a Llama! And you!
Meta is releasing Llama 2, the next generation of Llama. With Llama 2 now commercially available, anyone can leverage the large language model to build their own applications. https://t.co/wCTEp4qE81 pic.twitter.com/MBen3FHjzZ
— Tech at Meta (@techatfacebook) July 18, 2023
The post highlighted how increased access to foundational AI technologies can benefit businesses globally. Meta aimed to let developers and researchers stress-test LLMs to identify and fix problems faster.
This is huge: Llama-v2 is open source, with a license that authorizes commercial use!
This is going to change the landscape of the LLM market.
Llama-v2 is available on Microsoft Azure and will be available on AWS, Hugging Face and other providers
Pretrained and fine-tuned…
— Yann LeCun (@ylecun) July 18, 2023
Meta conveyed the belief that opening up access is safer than limiting availability. It hoped the AI community would collaborate on improving tools and addressing vulnerabilities.
We believe an open approach is the right one for the development of today’s Al models.
Today, we’re releasing Llama 2, the next generation of Meta’s open source Large Language Model, available for free for research & commercial use.
— Meta AI (@MetaAI) July 18, 2023
Meta also announced an expanded partnership with Microsoft, making Microsoft the preferred cloud provider for Llama 2.
The new post noted Meta’s focus on responsible AI development, including how it red-teamed the models, disclosed shortcomings, and provided a responsible use guide. An open innovation community and upcoming challenges were introduced to get feedback.
The company expressed excitement in seeing what people worldwide build with the new model.
Declaration Of Support For Open AI Development
In addition to announcing the release of Llama 2, Meta also released a statement supporting open AI development:
“We support an open innovation approach to AI. Responsible and open innovation gives us all a stake in the AI development process, bringing visibility, scrutiny and trust to these technologies. Opening today’s Llama models will let everyone benefit from this technology.”
The statement brought together major figures from academia, venture capital, and leading technology companies – including NVIDIA, Dropbox, Doordash, Shopify, Zoom, and Intel – supporting open AI development.
AI is an enabling technology – just like the arrival of the internet, iPhone, cloud computing, and open source.
— Y Combinator (@ycombinator) July 18, 2023
Excited that we @DoorDash are supporting the open source movement – especially as it pertains to adding to both the Cambrian explosion of innovation and positive long term equalizing effects within AI – and build with Llama 2. Thanks to the @Meta team! https://t.co/eyy5aCLe6D
— Tony Xu (@t_xu) July 18, 2023
Azure And Windows Support Llama2
In a related announcement, Microsoft revealed its partnership with Meta to make the new Llama 2 artificial intelligence model available on the Azure cloud platform.
— Microsoft (@Microsoft) July 18, 2023
Llama 2 models should be optimized to run locally on Windows as well. Microsoft explained Windows developers can build AI experiences for their apps using Llama 2.
Azure customers should be able to fine-tune and deploy 7B, 13B, and 70B-parameter Llama 2 models.
The Microsoft+Meta partnership aimed to increase access to foundational AI technologies. Microsoft said they share Meta’s commitment to democratizing AI and its benefits.
It also expanded Microsoft’s ecosystem of open AI models on Azure.
Microsoft also discussed their approach to responsible AI. They said techniques like prompt engineering can optimize Llama 2 for safer, more reliable experiences. Azure AI Content Safety also offers another layer of protection.
The Benefits Of Open LLMs
The release of Llama 2 by Meta and its availability on several platforms, including Microsoft Azure and Windows, marks an important milestone in the trend toward more open and accessible LLMs.
With this expanded partnership, Meta and Microsoft could provide the AI community with a more remarkable ability to build upon, test, and refine large language models like Llama 2.
By opening up access to Llama 2, Meta hopes to spur innovation and the development of helpful applications powered by the model as Microsoft provides key computing infrastructure and support through Azure and Windows so developers worldwide can leverage the new LLM.
Both companies emphasized their commitment to democratizing AI while pursuing responsible development through transparency, safety practices, and gathering feedback. Meta and Microsoft hope to maximize the benefits of AI advances while mitigating risks.
Time will tell how greatly Llama 2 and other open LLMs impact businesses and consumers. But this kind of expanded access and collaboration between tech leaders promises to progress AI capabilities and their thoughtful application rapidly.
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