Alibaba releases two open-sourced AI models to rival Meta’s Llama 2

Alibaba Group, the Chinese tech and e-commerce giant, announced the release of two open-sourced artificial intelligence (AI) models from its cloud computing department on Aug. 3, according to a press release. 

Its two large language models (LLMs) are dubbed Qwen-7B and Qwen-7B-Chat, each with 7 billion parameters. Alibaba said these two models are small-size versions of the Tongyi Qiawen, which the company released in April.

The new models aim to help introduce AI to the operations of small and medium-sized businesses.

The company said Qwen-7B and Qwen-7B-Chat have various capabilities that would be appealing to enterprises, such as being able to “code, model weights, and documentation will be freely accessible to academics, researchers and commercial institutions worldwide.”

Alibaba’s latest LLMs are also the first released from a Chinese tech company to be open-sourced. However, it said businesses with over 100 million monthly active users will need a license.

On Aug. 1, the company also announced an update in the form of a vector engine to its AnalyticDB data warehousing service, allowing its corporate clients to quickly create custom generative AI applications.

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This development comes after Meta released its open-sourced LLM — Llama 2 — with Microsoft on July 16.

Meta says its Llama 2 was trained using 40% more public data and can process twice as much context as its predecessor. It is also open-sourced, with the biggest version of Llama 2 featuring 70 billion parameters.

Similar to Alibaba’s latest model, it requires a license from companies with over 700 million monthly users.

On July 26, Alibaba announced what it called “the first training and deployment solution for the entire Llama2 series in China” after it deployed a Llama 2 solution for businesses to develop AI-powered software and tools.

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