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Meta, the company behind industry behemoths Facebook and Instagram, is making strides in the artificial intelligence sector with plans to develop an AI system that rivals the capabilities of OpenAI's ChatGPT.
This ambitious venture forms part of CEO Mark Zuckerberg's strategy to establish Meta as a dominant player in the burgeoning AI industry, people familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal on Monday.
The forthcoming AI model, which is anticipated to be more robust than Meta's recent release, Llama 2, is being designed to facilitate the development of sophisticated text and analysis tools by other companies. It's reportedly being spearheaded by a special team initiated by Zuckerberg early this year, focusing on the creation of generative AI instruments capable of crafting human-like expressions.
The project is still in its infancy, with training scheduled to commence in early 2024. But it seems to signal Zuckerberg's determination to reclaim ground lost to rivals in the AI arena.
Meta plans to funnel substantial resources to the project, including the construction of data centers and the acquisition of H100s, Nvidia's most sophisticated chips designated for AI training. Despite collaborating with Microsoft for Llama 2, Meta intends to utilize its own infrastructure for this venture, veering away from Microsoft's Azure platform.
Zuckerberg is also still signaling that he intends the forthcoming AI offering to be open-sourced, making it freely accessible for companies to develop AI-driven tools. This open-source ethos, however, brings with it a slew of potential pitfalls, including augmented risks associated with copyright infringements and the potential misuse of the technology for disinformation campaigns, a concern acknowledged by legal experts and Meta's own legal team.
What's more, the company has already taken a lot of criticism for its Llama 2 model not being as open source as they made it seem.
As Zuckerberg prepares to join other tech magnates at a summit convened by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to deliberate on AI's future, the industry will be closely watching Meta. Though anticipated to be on par with OpenAI's GPT-4 in terms of capabilities, it remains uncertain whether Meta's new model can narrow the existing gap with its competitors. Despite these uncertainties, the industry recognizes the inherent benefits of open-source models, lauded for their cost-effectiveness and adaptability, as Zuckerberg avidly champions a collaborative approach to AI development in the rapidly evolving technological landscape.