The IBM-Meta AI Alliance Promotes Safe and Open AI Progress

By Doug Eadline

December 5, 2023

IBM and Meta have co-launched a massive industry-academic-government alliance to shepherd AI development. The new group has united under the AI Alliance banner to promote responsible innovation in AI. Historically, technical alliances often come and go depending on the economic climate. This one seems a bit different. The AI Alliance started with over 50 members from worldwide government, academic, and industry partners. For example, heavyweights like AMD, Dell, IBM, Intel, Meta, Oracle, Red Hat, HugginFace, Sony, NASA, NSF, and CERN have all agreed to join the Alliance. (See below for a full list of members.)

The AI Alliance is focused on fostering an open community and enabling developers and researchers to accelerate responsible innovation in AI while ensuring scientific rigor, trust, safety, security, diversity, and economic competitiveness. By bringing together leading developers, scientists, academic institutions, companies, and other innovators, we will pool resources and knowledge to address safety concerns while providing a platform for sharing and developing solutions that fit the needs of researchers, developers, and adopters worldwide.

As stated by IBM Chairman and CEO Arvind Krishna, “The progress we continue to witness in AI is a testament to open innovation and collaboration across communities of creators, scientists, academics, and business leaders. This alliance is a pivotal moment in defining the future of AI. IBM is proud to partner with like-minded organizations through the AI Alliance to ensure this open ecosystem drives an innovative AI agenda underpinned by safety, accountability, and scientific rigor.”

Some notable players are not members of the AI alliance, namely, OpenAI, Microsoft, Nvidia, Google, Apple, and AWS. In addition, major Chinese hyperscalers are not listed as members.

There have been concerns about the safety of AI in recent years, particularly with Large Language Models (LLMs) like OpenAI’s closed-source ChatGPT, and the AI Alliance addresses some of these issues by proposing a public open development approach with resources to develop a safe ecosystem of open foundational models (LLMs).

To accomplish its goals, the AI Alliance plans to start or enhance projects that meet the following objectives:

  • Develop and deploy benchmarks and evaluation standards, tools, and other resources that enable the responsible development and use of AI systems globally, including creating a catalog of vetted safety, security, and trust tools. Support the advocacy and enablement of these tools with the developer community for model and application development.
  • Responsibly advance the ecosystem of open foundation models with diverse modalities, including highly capable multilingual, multi-modal, and science models that can help address society-wide challenges in climate, education, and beyond.
  • Foster a vibrant AI hardware accelerator ecosystem by boosting contributions and adopting essential enabling software technology.
  • Support global AI skills-building and exploratory research. Engage the academic community to support researchers and students in learning and contributing to essential AI model and tool research projects.
  • Develop educational content and resources to inform the public discourse and policymakers on benefits, risks, solutions, and precision regulation for AI.
  • Launch initiatives that encourage open development of AI in safe and beneficial ways, and host events to explore AI use cases and showcase how Alliance members are using open technology in AI responsibly and for good.

Nick Clegg, President of Global Affairs for Meta, shared the following thoughts on the need for the AI Alliance, “We believe it’s better when AI is developed openly – more people can access the benefits, build innovative products, and work on safety. The AI Alliance brings together researchers, developers, and companies to share tools and knowledge to help us all progress, whether models are shared openly or not. We’re looking forward to working with partners to advance the state-of-the-art in AI and help everyone build responsibly.”

AI Street Cred

The Alliance members have credibility in the AI sector. To ensure open innovation in AI benefits everyone and that it is built responsibly, the AI Alliance consists of a range of experienced organizations working across aspects of AI education, research, development and deployment, and governance.

· The creators of the tooling driving AI benchmarking, trust and validation metrics and best practices, and application creation such as MLPerf, Hugging Face, LangChain, LlamaIndex, and open-source AI toolkits for explainability, privacy, adversarial robustness, and fairness evaluation.

  • The universities and science agencies that educate and support generation after generation of AI scientists and engineers push the frontiers of AI research through open science.
  • The builders of the hardware and infrastructure that supports AI training and applications – from the needed GPUs to custom AI accelerators and cloud platforms;
  • The champions of frameworks that drive platform software, including PyTorch, Transformers, Diffusers, Kubernetes, Ray, Hugging Face Text generation inference, and Parameter Efficient Fine Tuning.
  • The creators of some of today’s most used open models, including Llama2, Stable Diffusion, StarCoder, Bloom, etc.

First Steps

The AI Alliance will begin its work by forming member-driven working groups across all major topical areas listed above. The Alliance will also establish a governing board and technical oversight committee dedicated to advancing the above project areas and establishing overall project standards and guidelines.

In addition to bringing together leading developers, scientists, academics, students, and business leaders in artificial intelligence, the AI Alliance will partner with important existing initiatives from governments, non-profit, and civil society organizations who are doing valuable and aligned work in the AI space.

To learn more about the Alliance, visit here: https://thealliance.ai

Alliance Members

World-wide AI Alliance map. Click to enlarge. (Source: https://thealliance.ai)

The AI Alliance includes worldwide partners and collaborators from industry, academia, and government.

Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR)
Aitomatic
AMD
Anyscale
Cerebras
CERN
Cleveland Clinic
Cornell University
Dartmouth
Dell Technologies
Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne
ETH Zurich
Fast.ai
Fenrir, Inc.
FPT Software
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Hugging Face
IBM
Imperial College London
Indian Institute of Technology Bombay
Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP)
Institute for Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence
Intel
Keio University
LangChain
LlamaIndex
Linux Foundation
Mass Open Cloud Alliance, operated by Boston University and Harvard
Meta
Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence
MLCommons
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
National Science Foundation
New York University
NumFOCUS
OpenTeams
Oracle
Partnership on AI
Quansight
Red Hat
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Roadzen
Sakana AI
SB Intuitions
ServiceNow
Silo AI
Simons Foundation
Sony Group
Stability AI
Together AI
TU Munich
UC Berkeley College of Computing, Data Science, and Society
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
The University of Notre Dame
The University of Texas at Austin
The University of Tokyo
Yale University

 

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