While companies like OpenAI and Google are keeping their AI models proprietary and secretive, a new industry group believes artificial intelligence systems should be open-source. The AI Alliance, launched this week, already has over 40 member organizations who argue working openly offers faster progress, improved safety, and equal opportunities.
Members of the alliance include tech giants like Meta and IBM as well as universities, research centers, and startups. Together they aim to accelerate innovation in AI by collaborating and sharing open-source models, data, and tools. This contrasts sharply with the closed-off approach of leading AI labs like OpenAI and DeepMind.
The alliance outlines three main benefits of openness in AI:
Speed - By building on each other’s publicly available work instead of reinventing the wheel, researchers can advance the field quicker. Models like GPT-3 were created in just a few months thanks to open datasets like Common Crawl.
Safety - Allowing independent researchers to audit code is the best way to identify flaws and risks. We already open-source critical security systems like encryption for this reason. Peer review improves safety.
Equal Opportunity - Public access levels the playing field so solo experts and startups can innovate right alongside Big Tech firms with huge budgets. Openness fosters competition and creativity.
In their founding mission statement, the AI Alliance says it will responsibly maximize benefits to people and society everywhere by improving AI’s foundational capabilities, safety, security and trust. Members like Meta argue open collaboration means more people can access the benefits, while IBM says it’s defining the future of AI.
With influential backers from academia, industry, and government, the AI Alliance could drive a shift toward transparency in artificial intelligence research. Its approach stands opposed to those keeping their models locked down as trade secrets. The coming years may see an open-source movement take hold if the alliance sees widespread adoption.
A quite from AI Aliance Member Redhat CEO Matt Hicks:
“Collaboration and open innovation have always been true catalysts for progress. The launch of the AI Alliance marks a visionary milestone, uniting industry giants, academia, and innovators with a shared responsibility to shape the future and advance open innovation, ensuring that the transformative power of AI is harnessed responsibly and ethically. As a founding member of the AI Alliance, Red Hat recognizes the collective potential of an open, healthy AI community — a force that will not only build technologies but also advocate for a future where innovation knows no bounds.”