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Thu. Jul 18th, 2024

How open source AI made Mark Zuckerberg a Silicon Valley darling again

By Vaseline May30,2024

Open-sourcing AI made Meta’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg popular again in Silicon Valley, followed by competitors. This is despite the fact that the 40-year-old billionaire founder is under scrutiny for misinformation, privacy and child safety issues.

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg (Reuters)

Since Meta’s first fully open-source AI model, called LLaMA 2, was released last July, the software has been downloaded more than 180 million times, the company said. A more powerful version of the model, LLaMA 3, released in April, reached the top of the download charts at record speed on Hugging Face, a community site for AI code, the New York Times reported.

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This was in contrast to Microsoft, OpenAI and Google having more of a closed AI strategy to monitor their technology as a precaution.

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However, in February, Google open-sourced the code for two AI models, Gemma 2B and Gemma 7B, in a sign that it was feeling the pressure of Zuckerberg’s open-source approach.

Other companies, including Microsoft, Mistral, Snowflake and Databricks, have also started offering open source models this year.

“This technology is so important, and the possibilities are so great, that we need to open up the source and make it as widely available as we can responsibly so that everyone can benefit from it,” Mark Zuckerberg said in an Instagram video in January.

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Developers have since created tens of thousands of their own custom AI programs on top of Meta’s AI software to do everything from helping doctors read radiology scans to creating dozens of digital chatbot assistants, according to the New York Times.

Open source software has a long and rich history in Silicon Valley. For example, Microsoft lost its battle against open-source Internet infrastructure software and Google opened-source Android to take on Apple’s closed iOS, the New York Times wrote.

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