With LLaMA V2, Meta may be trying to benefit from the open-source community, similar to what Google has done with Android.
The Financial Times, citing three sources familiar with the project, reports that Meta wants to launch a commercial AI model to compete with OpenAI, Microsoft, and Google. The model is said to generate language, code, and images.
It may be a new variant of Meta’s LLaMA, a large language model used in numerous open-source projects. LLaMA v1 has only been released under a research license and therefore may not be used directly for commercial purposes. However, replicas exist.
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has already announced that a new AI model is in the works, which could be LLaMA v2 or under a different name. Meta wants to use the model for its services and offer it to external interested parties, according to Zuckerberg. Special attention is on safety.
Using open source to swim to the top
According to the Financial Times and an insider report from June, the new model will remain open source. The details of the model will be published and can be used for further work.
However, Meta could reserve the right to license the model commercially and offer additional services to companies, such as fine-tuning it with its data, which the open-source community cannot easily do.
In this way, Meta would benefit twice: The open-source community would develop the model and drive AI applications based on Meta’s technology. An outsourced, free research department, so to speak. The LLaMA ecosystem could grow quickly.
If Meta reserves commercial licensing, it has the sole right to make money from the model. It’s a bet that companies will do business with Meta despite its open-source availability because the total package is more attractive than open-source-only use.
Whether and for which LLaMA services Meta might charge in the future, such as the aforementioned fine-tuning, is still unclear, according to Financial Times sources. The main goal of the new model is to break the dominance of OpenAI, says an insider familiar with the company’s high-level strategy.
Meta’s head of AI, Yann LeCun, indirectly confirmed this course a few days ago at a conference in France, where he announced that the competition in the AI model business could change completely in the coming weeks if there were open-source platforms that could compete qualitatively with closed source platforms.
The presentation of the new model is imminent, according to FT sources.