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The Download: Meta’s AI Giveaway, And Abortion Clinic Data Tracking

 |  May 9, 2022

By: Rhiannon Williams (MIT Technology Review)

Meta has built a massive new language AI—and it’s giving it away for free

Open to ideas: Meta’s AI lab has created a massive new language model, and in an unprecedented move for Big Tech, it is giving it away to researchers—together with details about how it was built. Large language models—powerful programs that can generate paragraphs of text and mimic human conversation—have become one of the hottest trends in AI in the last couple of years. But they have deep flaws, parroting misinformation, prejudice, and toxic language.

Wider scrutiny:  Meta’s decision represents the first time that a fully trained large language model will be made available to any researcher who wants to study it.  In theory, putting more people to work on the problem should help. So far, the wider research community has been shut out, with large language models solely the domain of rich tech firms. 

Improved discoveries: The news has been welcomed by many as a win for transparency. However, some researchers question why large language models are being built at all, given their potential for harm…