Alibaba to support Meta’s AI model Llama

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E-commerce group Alibaba will become the first Chinese company to make use of Meta’s open-source artificial intelligence (AI) model Llama to power zero-cost development of programs.

According to an initial report from Reuters which cited an official statement from Alibaba Cloud through its WeChat account, the cloud computing arm of the Chinese conglomerate has deployed a Llama 2-based solution to allow businesses to develop software and tools using AI:

“Today, Alibaba Cloud has launched the first training and deployment solution for the entire Llama2 series in China, welcoming all developers to create customised large models on Alibaba Cloud.”

Meta’s Llama2 model was released in July 2023 as a free-to-use service rivaling the likes of early movers including OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Google Bard. Meta intends to allow Llama2 to be free to use for companies with less than 700 million monthly active users.

The announcement from Meta highlighted that Microsoft remained its preferred partner for developing its generative AI tool while Llama 2 would be freely available for research and commercial use.

Related: OpenAI launches official ChatGPT app for Android

Meta also noted that it was adopting an open approach to provide increased access to foundational AI technology to benefit businesses around the world. This includes supporting companies around the world that are building products on Llama 2, cloud providers including the model in its offerings as well as research efforts exploring “safe and responsible deployment of large generative models”.

Alibaba Cloud is set to become one of a handful of prominent cloud computing services including Amazon Web Service (AWS) that will tap into Llama 2’s large language model.

The development comes after the United States moved to curtail the sale of select AI processing hardware chipsets in June 2023 as the country looks to retain a competitive advantage in the rapidly developing area of AI tools.

The Reuters report also suggests that the integration of Meta’s new AI model could present an avenue for the country to reaffirm ties in China. Meta’s Facebook has been banned in China since 2009 alongside Twitter, YouTube and other Western-based social media and content platforms.

Cointelegraph has contacted Alibaba Cloud and Meta to ascertain the finer details of the Llama 2 integration, but hasn’t yet received a response.

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