Meta Set to Join Google and Microsoft in Commercial AI Race

Meta is reportedly readying a commercial version of its artificial intelligence (AI) tool.

As the Financial Times (FT) noted in a report Thursday (July 13), the release lets Meta catch up to rivals Microsoft and Google in the race to develop generative AI. 

While Meta released its own large language model (LLM) AI tool for academics and researchers earlier this year, the iteration will be available more widely, the FT said, citing sources familiar with the company’s plans. Another source said the release is imminent.

A spokesperson for Meta declined to comment when reached by PYMNTS.

According to the report, Meta says its LLMs are “open source,” which means details about the new product will be made public, compared to competitors like Microsoft-backed OpenAI, whose GPT-4 model is a “black box” (meaning the data and code used to build it are not accessible to people outside the company).

“The competitive landscape of AI is going to completely change in the coming months, in the coming weeks maybe, when there will be open source platforms that are actually as good as the ones that are not,” vice-president and Meta chief AI scientist Yann LeCun said at a recent conference in France.

The news comes as other AI companies push forward with new products. This week saw Anthropic, an AI company backed by Google, debut the latest version of its “Claude” chatbot. 

And on Wednesday (July 12), Elon Musk announced the launch of an AI company dubbed xAI — the sixth company he oversees — to “understand reality,” as he wrote on Twitter.

Led by Musk, the company includes veterans of DeepMind, OpenAI, Google Research, Microsoft Research, Tesla and The University of Toronto. The team will offer more details about its plans in a Twitter Spaces Chat scheduled for Friday (July 14), according to its website.

Musk — who was involved with the creation of OpenAI — has been cautious about the development of AI technology while also hinting at a desire to create an alternative to OpenAI’s chatbot, ChatGPT.

Meanwhile, new research in PYMNTS’ July 2023 report, “Understanding the Future of Generative Al,” performed in collaboration with AI-ID, found that LLMs could impact 40% of all working hours.

“That’s why companies need to consider, right now, how they can employ generative AI in jobs to ensure it is a value-add,” PYMNTS wrote Tuesday (July 11). 

“Once they have a better idea of how to employ the technology efficiently, they will be able to adapt and redesign jobs around that.”