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Meta unveils answer to ChatGPT

Partnership with Microsoft produces next generation of Llama open-source large language model, free to all.

Meta and Microsoft have teamed up to unveil the Facebook owner’s answer to ChatGPT called Llama 2, with a promise to revolutionise natural language processing.

The platform is the next generation of Llama, Meta’s open-source large language model, which is being made freely available for both research and commercial purposes. 

Recent breakthroughs in AI, and generative AI in particular, have captured the public’s imagination and demonstrated what those developing these technologies have long known — they have the potential to help people do incredible things, create a new era of economic and social opportunities, and give individuals, creators, and businesses new ways to express themselves and connect with people.

Meta said in a statement on Wednesday: “We believe an open approach is the right one for the development of today’s AI models, especially those in the generative space where the technology is rapidly advancing. By making AI models available openly, they can benefit everyone. 

“Giving businesses, startups, entrepreneurs, and researchers access to tools developed at a scale that would be challenging to build themselves, backed by computing power they might not otherwise access, will open up a world of opportunities for them to experiment, innovate in exciting ways, and ultimately benefit from economically and socially.

Meta says that opening access to today’s AI models means a generation of developers and researchers can stress test them, identifying and solving problems fast, as a community.

“By seeing how these tools are used by others, our own teams can learn from them, improve those tools, and fix vulnerabilities. Meta has put exploratory research, open source, and collaboration with academic and industry partners at the heart of our AI efforts for over a decade. 

“We’ve seen first-hand how innovation in the open can lead to technologies that benefit more people. Dozens of large language models have already been released and are driving progress by developers and researchers. They’re being used by businesses as core ingredients for new generative AI-powered experiences.”

Meta says it has had more than 100,000 requests from researchers for access to the lLlama 1, and is sharing examples of what has been achieved in the process, by developers, on Github (click here).

Meta says its now ready to open source the next version of Llama 2 and is making it available free of charge for research and commercial use at

“We’re including model weights and starting code for the pretrained model and conversational fine-tuned versions too.”

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced on stage at the recent Microsoft Inspire conference that it would be the preferred partner for Llama 2 and in Meta expanding its efforts in generative AI. Llama 2 is now available in Microsfot’s Azure AI model catalog, enabling developers using Microsoft Azure to build with it and leverage cloud-native tools for content filtering and safety features.

It is optimised to run locally on Windows, giving developers a seamless workflow as they bring generative AI experiences to customers across different platforms. Llama 2 is also available through Amazon Web Services (AWS), Hugging Face, and other providers.

Meta said: “People and businesses have benefited from the longstanding partnership between Microsoft and Meta. Together we’ve introduced an open ecosystem for interchangeable AI frameworks, and we’ve co-authored research papers to advance the state of the art in AI. 

“We’ve collaborated to scale the adoption of PyTorch — today’s leading AI framework created by Meta and the AI community — on Azure, and we’re among the founding members of the PyTorch Foundation. Microsoft and Meta recently joined a cohort of supporters that endorse the Partnership on AI’s framework for collective action in the creation and sharing of synthetic media. Our partnership extends outside of AI and into the metaverse too to deliver immersive experiences for the future of work and play.”

Meta issued the following statement on its “Focus on Responsibility”:

Our open source approach promotes transparency and access. We know that while AI has brought huge advances to society, it also comes with risk. We are committed to building responsibly and are providing a number of resources to help those who use Llama 2 do so too.

  • Red-Teaming Exercises: Our fine-tuned models have been red-teamed — tested for safety — through internal and external efforts. The team worked to generate adversarial prompts to facilitate model fine-tuning. In addition, we commissioned third parties to conduct external adversarial testing across our fine-tuned models to similarly identify gaps in performance. These safety fine-tuning processes are iterative; we will continue to invest in safety through fine-tuning and benchmarking and plan to release updated fine-tuned models based on these efforts.
  • Transparency Schematic: We explain our fine-tuning and evaluation methods for the model and identify its shortcomings. Our transparency schematic, which is located within the research paper, discloses known challenges and issues we’ve experienced and provides insight into mitigations taken and future ones we intend to explore. 
  • Responsible Use Guide: We created this guide as a resource to support developers with best practices for responsible development and safety evaluations. It outlines best practices reflective of current, state-of-the-art research on responsible generative AI discussed across the industry and the AI research community.
  • Acceptable Use Policy: We put a policy in place that prohibits certain use cases to help ensure that these models are being used fairly and responsibly.

Meta has also created new initiatives to harness the insight and creativity of individuals, researchers, and developers around the world to get feedback on how the models are performing and how they might be improved.

  • Open Innovation AI Research Community: Today, we also launched a new partnership program for academic researchers that aims to deepen our understanding of the responsible development and sharing of large language models. Researchers may apply to join a community of practitioners to share learnings on this important topic, and the community will form a research agenda to pursue going forward.
  • Llama Impact Challenge: We want to activate the community of innovators who aspire to use Llama to solve hard problems. We are launching a challenge to encourage a diverse set of public, non-profit, and for-profit entities to use Llama 2 to address environmental, education and other important challenges. The challenge rules will be available prior to the start of it.
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