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Google unveils new AI models

On Wednesday, Google unveiled new artificial intelligence (AI) models that external developers can potentially adapt for their own purposes, following a similar initiative by Meta Platforms and other companies.

Alphabet, Google’s parent company, announced that individuals and businesses can freely utilize its new suite of “open models” named Gemma to develop AI software. The company is providing access to crucial technical information, including model weights, to the public.

The initiative is likely to draw software engineers towards leveraging Google’s technology and promote the utilization of its recently profitable cloud division. The models are tailored for Google Cloud, and new users utilizing them receive $300 in credits, according to the company.

While Google hasn’t made Gemma completely “open source,” implying that the company may still influence terms of use and ownership, it signifies a step towards openness. Some experts have expressed concerns about the potential abuse of open-source AI, while others advocate for its benefits in broadening the pool of contributors and beneficiaries of the technology.

With the announcement, Google chose not to release its larger, top-tier models known as Gemini as open-source, unlike Gemma. The Gemma models are specified to have either two billion or seven billion parameters, representing the number of unique values considered by an algorithm to produce output.

In comparison, Meta’s Llama 2 models vary in size from seven to 70 billion parameters. Google has not provided information about the size of its largest Gemini models. For context, OpenAI’s GPT-3 model, introduced in 2020, contained 175 billion parameters.

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Chipmaker Nvidia (NVDA.O) announced on Wednesday that it has collaborated with Google to ensure the seamless operation of Gemma models on its chips. Additionally, Nvidia stated its intention to integrate chatbot software, currently being developed to run AI models on Windows PCs, with Gemma in the near future.

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