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Meta is working to make the next version of LLaMA, its open-source LLM — currently available only to researchers — commercially available, according to recent reporting from The Information. This news comes despite lawmaker inquiries, including a letter sent to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg last week by two U.S. senators that questioned LLaMA’s leak to 4chan a week after the model was announced.
As VentureBeat has reported, Meta is considered the most “open” of the Big Tech companies, thanks to FAIR, the Fundamental AI Research Team founded by Meta’s chief AI scientist Yann LeCun in 2013. It had made LLaMA’s model weights available under a research license for academics and researchers on a case-by-case basis — including Stanford University for the Alpaca project — but those weights were subsequently leaked, which allowed developers around the world to fully access a GPT-level LLM for the first time.
Meta’s latest efforts come at a key moment when Congress has prioritized regulating artificial intelligence, while open-source AI is seeing a wave of new LLMs. For example, last month OpenAI CEO Sam Altman testified before the Senate Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology & the Law — Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) is the chair and Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) its ranking member — and agreed with calls for a new AI regulatory agency. Blumenthal and Hawley are the same senators who sent Zuckerberg the letter about LLaMA.
But Meta continues to consistently double-down on its commitment to open-source AI: In an internal all-hands meeting last week, for example, Zuckerberg said Meta is building generative AI into all of its products and reaffirmed the company’s commitment to an “open science-based approach” to AI research.
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And in an interview last week with podcaster Lex Fridman, Zuckerberg said that “LLaMA or the language model underlying this is basically going to be the engine that powers” access to “AI agents” by small businesses and content creators that use Facebook’s apps.
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