Meta Unveils New Large Language Model, LLaMA

On Friday, Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg announced the imminent launch of Meta Platforms for researchers of a new large language model called LLaMA (Large Language Model Meta AI). The model, developed by Meta’s Fundamental AI Research (FAIR) team, is intended to help scientists and engineers explore AI applications and functions, such as answering questions and summarizing documents.

The launch of LLaMA comes as technology companies race to advance AI techniques and integrate the technology into their commercial products. As CNBC notes, the Meta launch distinguishes itself from competing models in that it will be available in a selection of sizes, from 7 billion parameters up to 65 billion parameters. Additionally, Zuckerberg said his company’s new LLM technology — which could eventually solve mathematical problems and conduct scientific research — will be available to the research community, and Meta is now accepting requests for access. This is a change from Google’s underlying LaMDA and ChatGPT models, which are not publicly available.

Reuters points out that Meta is joining an increasingly intense race to dominate AI technology, which began in earnest in late 2022 with OpenAI’s ChatGPT. As far as Meta is concerned, the release of LLaMA also represents its commitment to open science – hence the choice to publicly release the next-generation fundamental large language model, as well as allowing researchers an open resource to advance their work. Meta believes that unlike better-tuned models designed for specific purposes, theirs will be versatile with multiple use cases.

Another way LLaMA is different, according to Meta: It requires “much less” computing power than previous offerings and is trained in 20 languages, with a focus on those based on the Latin and Cyrillic alphabets. With its 13 billion parameters, LLaMA should outperform GPT-3, the model on which ChatGPT was built. Meta also attributed LLaMA’s performance to “cleaner” data and “architecture improvements” to the model that improved training stability.

To maintain the integrity of the model and prevent misuse, Meta will release it under a non-commercial license focused on research use cases. Academic researchers, government, civil society, academic institutions and industry research labs will have access to the models on a case-by-case basis.

Meta’s release of LLaMA could mark a major development in AI language models. The social media giant’s commitment to open science and allowing researchers to study under a non-commercial license will limit misuse of the model.

The versatility and problem-solving potential of LLaMA could provide a glimpse of AI’s substantial potential benefits for billions of people at scale.

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