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February 28, 2024
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Databricks pushes open-source chatbot as cheaper ChatGPT alternative

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Databricks, a San Francisco-based startup final valued at $38 billion, on Friday launched open-source code that it mentioned corporations may use to create their very own chatbots alongside the traces of OpenAI’s ChatGPT.

The code is an AI mannequin, an algorithm that’s skilled on units of knowledge and might then study from new information to carry out quite a lot of duties.

Databricks CEO Ali Ghodsi mentioned the discharge was geared toward demonstrating a viable various to coaching a sort of AI mannequin referred to as a big language mannequin with monumental sources and computing energy.

A big language mannequin underpins OpenAI’s viral chatbot ChatGPT. OpenAI, valued at $29 billion, trains its AI fashions with big troves of knowledge on a supercomputer from investor Microsoft Corp. The computing prices are “eye-watering”, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman has mentioned.

OpenAI fees enterprise for entry to its fashions for their very own purposes and has projected $1 billion in gross sales by 2024.

Databricks’ effort comes with caveats. Ghodsi advised Reuters that, whereas the open-source chatbot displayed spectacular capabilities at such duties as drafting weblog posts, the corporate had not launched formal benchmark assessments to point out that the bot matched ChatGPT’s efficiency.

Databricks sells cloud-based information mining and analytics software program to companies and mentioned final yr it had surpassed $1 billion in annualized income. Databricks needs enterprises to coach their very own AI fashions utilizing its software program. Ghodsi mentioned the corporate’s researchers had taken a two-year-old mannequin that was freely accessible and skilled it with a small quantity of knowledge for 3 hours on single laptop that anybody with a bank card may hire. “The long run shall be that everybody has their very own mannequin, they usually can truly prepare it, they usually could make it higher,” Ghodsi mentioned. “And that approach, in addition they do not have to offer away their information to another person.”

Databricks’ transfer comes at a time when startups are elevating hundreds of thousands of {dollars} of enterprise capital funding to coach their AI fashions and as huge tech corporations resembling Alphabet’s Google and Meta Platforms rush to shrink the dimensions and price of AI fashions whereas enhancing their accuracy.

“My perception is that ultimately, you’ll make these fashions smaller, smaller and smaller, and they are going to be open-sourced,” Ghodsi mentioned. “Everybody may have them.”

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