While Mark Zuckerberg’s Llama 2 is currying favor with the likes of Microsoft and IBM, is Meta’s large language model (LLM) offering an existential threat to OpenAI’s mega-popular ChatGPT – and how will it compete against Elon Musk’s new xAI venture?
Preparing both for a physical wrestling match and one in the budding GenAI space, Zuckerberg and Musk’s AI ambitions look set to clash as they capitalize on the heightened interest in generative AI. But which of the tech titans is likely to have the blessing from enterprise when it comes to this high-stakes battle?
Meta’s Llama leading with a competitive advantage
Llama 2, Meta’s new open-source LLM, is free for businesses to use and monetize with, and its release also came with an added advantage in its code being available for individuals and organizations to openly customize and inspect. This, Meta believes, will benefit the wider community and AI’s advancement.
“We believe an open approach is the right one for the development of today’s AI models, especially those in the generative space where the technology is rapidly advancing. By making AI models available openly, they can benefit everyone,” Zuckerberg – also referred to sometimes as Zuck – said upon Llama 2’s launch.
Tech experts believe that Meta’s choice of making the code openly available has the potential to attract further attention and offer a viable alternative to OpenAI’s ChatGPT.
At the same time, Dr. Jim Fan, senior AI scientist at Nvidia, tweeted his opinion on X that while some might be speculating Llama has already squashed the competition in the face of ChatGPT, it is still too early for a winner to be announced:
“Llama 2 is NOT yet at GPT-3.5 level, mainly because of its weak coding abilities…That being said, I have little doubt that Llama 2 will improve significantly thanks to its open weights,” he wrote.
How does xAI stack up?
Just last month, CEO of Tesla, X and SpaceX, Elon Musk, announced the formation of AI venture xAI; details remain scant but more information about the technology behind it is expected to follow soon. What we do know is that it’s likely Musk snapped up spare Oracle servers to help xAI become reality (and, perhaps, to write off unpaid Twitter/X server bills).
In the meantime, some industry insiders have speculated that while xAI has set its goal to develop “truthful AI”, the novice GenAI player will have serious competition. For instance, ChatGPT 4 has shown a 40 percent increase in accuracy compared to earlier versions, already reducing the risk of false information. So with this tech ahead of the curve and already tackling its known vulnerabilities, xAI will have even more to catch up with when it gets going – especially as Meta keeps on grabbing the attention of enterprise tech’s biggest names.
While Microsoft has partnered with OpenAI in a multiyear, multibillion-dollar investment, Redmond has also recently partnered with Meta by becoming a preferred partner for Llama 2. IBM meanwhile plans to make Llama 2 available within its Watsonx AI and Data Platform.
In a possible poke in the eye for Musk, the Microsoft news was announced by CEO Satya Nadella on Threads, Meta’s new social media product that has been seen as a death knell for Musk’s X platform.
In the meantime, with a cage fight or no cage fight, one thing is certain – the race to the top between Zuckerberg and Musk will be an interesting one to watch.