Meta, the tech giant formerly known as Facebook, is preparing to launch a commercial version of its artificial intelligence (AI) model, aiming to rival Microsoft-backed OpenAI and Google in the rapidly advancing field of generative AI.
This move will enable startups and businesses to develop customized software utilizing Meta’s AI technology.
The forthcoming release will allow Meta to harness the power of large language models (LLMs), capable of generating text, images, and code. These models are trained on vast amounts of data and require significant computing resources.
Unlike its competitors, Meta emphasizes an “open-source” approach for its LLMs, meaning that details of the new model will be made publicly available. In contrast, OpenAI’s latest model, GPT-4, is considered a “black box,” with the underlying data and code not accessible to external parties.
In June, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg expressed enthusiasm for generative AI breakthroughs, stating, “In the last year, we’ve seen some incredible breakthroughs — qualitative breakthroughs — on generative AI, and that allows us to now go take that technology, push it forward, and build it into every single one of our products.”
He added that Meta will play a unique and crucial role in delivering these capabilities to billions of people in novel ways not pursued by others.
Yann LeCun, Meta’s Vice President and Chief AI Scientist, anticipates a significant shift in the AI landscape soon, stating, “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 as good as the ones that are not.”
Meta’s upcoming release comes amidst a fierce race among Silicon Valley tech companies to establish dominance in the AI sector.
Despite Meta’s extensive work in AI research and development over the past decade, the company has been playing catch-up after OpenAI’s release of ChatGPT, a conversational chatbot, in November. This prompted other major tech players to introduce similar products.
While Meta’s current AI technology is open source and free, insiders familiar with the matter suggest that the company has been exploring the possibility of charging enterprise customers for the ability to fine-tune the model based on their proprietary data. However, no plans to implement such charges have been confirmed for the upcoming release.