Last week, Luke Sernau, a senior engineer at Google, wrote a leaked memo that said aloud what many in Silicon Valley must have been whispering for weeks: An open source free-for-all threatens the grip of Big Tech . AI.
New large open source language models—alternatives to Google’s Bard or OpenAI’s ChatGPT that researchers and application developers can study, build, and modify—fall like candy from a piñata. These are smaller, cheaper versions of the best AI models built by big companies that (almost) match them in performance, and they’re shared for free.
In many ways, this is a good thing. AI will not thrive if only a few mega-rich companies get to control this technology or decide how it is used. But this open source boom is precarious, and if Big Tech decides to close up shop, a boomtown could turn into a backwater. Read the whole story.
—Will Douglas Heaven
This wasn’t Google I/O, but Google AI
Everything about life in the age of AI is a little confusing and strange. Nowhere was this more evident than at Google I/O, the company’s annual conference that showcases what it’s been working on, and this year’s show was all about AI.
When Google CEO Sundar Pichai took the stage earlier this week, he dove right into how AI is in everything the company does now, making it pretty clear that its own AI is now the core product, or at least, the backbone of it.
Mat Honan, our editor-in-chief, went to see the Big Google AI Show. Despite the impressive-looking demonstrations, he eventually left with a deep sense of unease. Read her story to find out why.