Meta is open-sourcing its large language AI model in an effort to surpass ChatGPT

A group of Lamas in a field
(Image credit: Pavel Svoboda Photography via Shutterstock)

In what could be an effort to catch up to - and maybe even surpass - the internet’s current AI darling ChatGPT, Meta will be open-sourcing its large language model, LLaMA 2, in collaboration with Microsoft.

This makes LLaMA 2 free to use for commercial and research purposes, putting it on the same level as OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Microsoft Bing.

The announcement was part of Microsoft’s Inspire event, where Microsoft revealed more about the AI tools making an appearance in the Microsoft 365 platform, as well as how much they would cost users. Meta’s explanation of the decision to make LLaMA 2 an open-source tool is to allow businesses, researchers, and developers access to more AI tools. 

Free roam LLaMA 

Rather than hiding the LLM behind a paywall, Meta will allow anyone and everyone to have access to LLaMA 2, thus opening up the door to more potential AI tools being built upon the model - which could be used by the general public.

This move also gives Meta a sense of transparency, something that has been conspicuously missing from some AI development projects; Meta notably also showed surprising restraint with regard to the release (or lack thereof) of its powerful new speech-generation AI, Voicebox.

According to The Verge, Meta will be offering the open-source LLM via Microsoft's Windows and Azure platforms, as well as AWS and Hugging Face. In a statement from the tech giant, the company states that “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”. 

Meta seems to be pushing for a community angle with the move, hoping that interested user bases will help stress test and troubleshoot issues with LLaMA 2 quickly and collaboratively. It’s a bold move, and could be the perfect way to counteract Meta’s recent struggles in the AI arena. I can’t wait to see what people make with access to an open-source AI model.

Muskaan Saxena
Computing Staff Writer

Muskaan is TechRadar’s UK-based Computing writer. She has always been a passionate writer and has had her creative work published in several literary journals and magazines. Her debut into the writing world was a poem published in The Times of Zambia, on the subject of sunflowers and the insignificance of human existence in comparison.

Growing up in Zambia, Muskaan was fascinated with technology, especially computers, and she's joined TechRadar to write about the latest GPUs, laptops and recently anything AI related. If you've got questions, moral concerns or just an interest in anything ChatGPT or general AI, you're in the right place.

Muskaan also somehow managed to install a game on her work MacBook's Touch Bar, without the IT department finding out (yet).