25 Feb 2023, 11:46

Meta unveils more cautious approach to ChatGPT frenzy

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb 25, 2023 (BSS/AFP) - Facebook-owner Meta on Friday
unveiled its own version of the artificial intelligence behind apps such as
ChatGPT, saying it would give access to researchers to find fixes to the
technology's potential dangers.

Meta described its own AI, called LLaMA, as a "smaller, more performant"
model designed to "help researchers advance their work," in what could be
seen as veiled criticism of Microsoft's decision to release the technology
widely, while keeping the programming code secret.

Microsoft-backed ChatGPT has taken the world by storm with its ability to
generate finely crafted texts such as essays or poems in just seconds using
technology known as large language models (or LLM).

LLM is part of a field known as generative AI that also includes the capacity
to execute images, designs or programming code almost instantaneously upon a
simple request.

Usually the more staid actor in big tech, Microsoft has deepened its
partnership with OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT, and earlier this month
announced the technology would be integrated into its Bing search engine as
well as the Edge browser.

Google, seeing a sudden threat to the dominance of its search engine, quickly
announced it would release its own language AI, known as Bard, shortly.

But reports of disturbing exchanges with Microsoft's Bing chatbot --
including it issuing threats and speaking of desires to steal nuclear code or
lure one user from his wife -- went viral, raising alarm bells that the
technology was not ready.

Meta said these problems, sometimes called hallucinations, could be better
remedied if researchers had improved access to the expensive technology.

Thorough research "remains limited because of the resources that are required
to train and run such large models," the company said.

This was hindering efforts "to improve their robustness and mitigate known
issues, such as bias, toxicity, and the potential for generating
misinformation," Meta said.

OpenAI and Microsoft strictly limit access to the technology behind their
chatbots, drawing criticism that they are choosing potential profits over
improving the technology more quickly for society.

"By sharing the code for LLaMA, other researchers can more easily test new
approaches to limiting or eliminating these problems," Meta said.

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