Facebook parent Meta announces AI partnership with Microsoft: What it means and why its important – Times of India

Facebook parent Meta announces AI partnership with Microsoft: What it means and why its important - Times of India


Facebook parent company Meta is making its artificial intelligence chatbot, Llama 2, available for commercial use through partnerships with major cloud providers including Microsoft. For those unaware, Meta has built an artificial intelligence system that rivals the likes of ChatGPT and Google’s Bard. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that the company is partnering with Microsoft to introduce the next generation of its AI large language model and making the technology, known as LLaMA 2, free for research and commercial use. Zuckerberg said people can download its new AI models directly or through a partnership that makes them available on Microsoft’s cloud platform Azure “along with Microsoft’s safety and content tools.”
“Open source drives innovation because it enables many more developers to build with new technology,” Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post Tuesday. “It also improves safety and security because when software is open, more people can scrutinize it to identify and fix potential issues. I believe it would unlock more progress if the ecosystem were more open, which is why we’re open sourcing Llama 2.”
What Microsoft said
Microsoft on its part is making Llama 2 available through the Azure AI catalog to use with cloud tools, such as content filtering. The tool can also run directly on Windows PCs, and will be available through outside providers like Amazon Web Services and Hugging Face.
“Meta and Microsoft share a commitment to democratizing AI and its benefits and we are excited that Meta is taking an open approach with Llama 2,” Microsoft said in a blog post. “We offer developers choice in the types of models they build on, supporting open and frontier models and are thrilled to be Meta’s preferred partner as they release their new version of Llama 2 to commercial customers for the first time,” it added.
Why the deal is important
The financial terms of the partnership have not been disclosed. Microsoft is also a major funder and partner of OpenAI, the maker of ChatGPT. Neither ChatGPT nor similar offerings from Microsoft or Google are open source. With the deal, Microsoft seems to be making it clear that it’s not strictly an OpenAI-only shop when it comes to generative AI.
Incidentally, while Microsoft is described by Meta as a “preferred” partner, the company said that the models will also be available through Amazon Web Services, which is Microsoft’s main cloud rival, as well as AI startup Hugging Face and others.


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