Meta and Microsoft announced an expanded artificial intelligence partnership with the release of their new large language model (LLM), Llama 2, which is free for research and commercial use.
This marks the latest trend towards an open LLM development and training approach.
Meta releases Llama 2
Meta announced Llama 2, now accessible through Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, Hugging Face, and other providers.
You get a llama! And you!
Meta releases Llama 2, the next generation of Llama. Now that Llama 2 is commercially available, anyone can take advantage of the large language model to create their own applications. https://t.co/wCTEp4qE81 pic.twitter.com/MBen3FHjzZ
– Tech at Meta (@techatfacebook) July 18, 2023
The post highlighted how improved access to fundamental AI technologies can benefit companies worldwide.
Great to look at @Meta Release the weights of Llama2 for commercial use with a permissive license: https://t.co/gSV2hgO4yT
With over 600 models on Hugging Face like MusicGen, Galactica, Wav2Vec and many others, they’ve significantly expanded their presence in open source AI lately.… pic.twitter.com/qGZdLqobo3
— Clem ???? (@ClementDelangue) July 18, 2023
Meta aimed to enable developers and researchers to stress test LLMs to identify and fix problems faster.
That’s huge: Llama-v2 is open source, with a license allowing commercial use!
This will 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
Pre-trained and fine-tuned…
— Yann LeCun (@ylecun) July 18, 2023
Meta expressed the belief that opening access is safer than limiting availability. It was hoped that the AI community would work together to improve tools and fix vulnerabilities.
We believe that an open approach to the development of today’s Al models is the right one.
Today we release Llama 2, the next generation of Meta’s open source large language model, available free for research and commercial use.
Details ➡️ https://t.co/vz3yw6cujk pic.twitter.com/j2bDHqiuHL
— 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 highlighted Meta’s focus on responsible AI development, including how the models were divided into Red teams, deficiencies revealed and a guide to responsible use provided. To get feedback, an open innovation community and upcoming challenges were presented.
The company was excited about what people around the world are building with the new model.
Statement of support for open AI development
In addition to announcing the release of Llama 2, Meta also released a statement in support of open AI development:
“We support an open innovation approach to AI. Through responsible and open innovation, we are all involved in the AI development process, bringing visibility, control and trust to these technologies. With the opening of today’s Llama models, everyone will benefit from this technology.”
The statement brought together key figures from academia, venture capital and leading technology companies – including NVIDIA, Dropbox, Doordash, Shopify, Zoom and Intel – who support open AI development.
AI is an enabling technology – just like the advent of the internet, the iPhone, cloud computing and open source.
LLMs will lead to new and incredible startups and we need to keep them open and accessible for all to see the full impact of this innovation.https://t.co/9pJZVQUEQo https://t.co/2Pfrdv6nV8
— Y-Combinator (@ycombinator) July 18, 2023
Excited that we @DoorDash support the open source movement – especially when it comes to amplifying both the Cambrian innovation explosion and positive long-term balancing effects within AI – and are building 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 announced 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 also be optimized to run locally on Windows. Microsoft explained that Windows developers can use Llama 2 to create AI experiences for their apps.
Azure customers should be able to tune and deploy Llama 2 models with 7B, 13B, and 70B parameters.
The Microsoft and Meta partnership aimed to improve access to fundamental AI technologies. Microsoft said they share Meta’s commitment to democratizing AI and its benefits.
Also, the Microsoft ecosystem of open AI models has been extended to Azure.
Microsoft also discussed its approach to responsible AI. They said techniques like prompt engineering can optimize Llama 2 for safer, more reliable experiences. Azure AI Content Safety also provides another layer of protection.
The advantages of open LLMs
Meta’s release of Llama 2 and its availability on multiple platforms, including Microsoft Azure and Windows, marks a major milestone in the trend towards more open and accessible LLMs.
Through expanded partnerships within the AI community, Meta and Microsoft could offer the world a more remarkable way to build on, test and refine large language models like Llama 2.
Soon you will see many posts on Twitter saying “Llama just dethroned ChatGPT” or “OpenAI is so done”. Before your timeline gets flooded, I’ll share my notes:
▸ Training Llama-2 will likely cost more than $20 million. Meta has done the community an incredible service by releasing the model with a… pic.twitter.com/MrABHrmACv
— Jim Fan (@DrJimFan) July 18, 2023
By opening up access to Llama 2, Meta hopes to fuel innovation and the development of helpful applications based on the model, as Microsoft provides critical computing infrastructure and support through Azure and Windows to enable developers worldwide to take advantage of the new LLM.
Both companies emphasized their commitment to the democratization of AI while pursuing responsible development through transparency, safety practices and collecting feedback. Meta and Microsoft hope to maximize the benefits of AI advances while mitigating the risks.
Only time will tell how much impact Llama 2 and other open LLMs will have on businesses and consumers. But this kind of expanded access and collaboration between technology leaders promises rapid advances in AI capabilities and their thoughtful application.
Featured image: mundissima/Shutterstock