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Meta Taps Hugging Face For Startup Accelerator To Spur Adoption of Open Source AI Models

Thursday November 9, 2023. 04:30 AM , from Slashdot
An anonymous reader quotes a report from TechCrunch: Facebook parent Meta is teaming up with Hugging Face and European cloud infrastructure company Scaleway to launch a new AI-focused startup program at the Station F startup megacampus in Paris. The underlying goal of the program is to promote a more 'open and collaborative' approach to AI development across the French technology world. The timing of the announcement is notable, coming amid a growing push for regulation and a marked conflict between the 'open' and 'closed' AI realms.

While Meta itself has been open sourcing its own generative AI models, Hugging Face -- a billion-dollar VC-backed startup in its own right -- has set out its stall as a sort of open source alternative to OpenAI, replete with open alternatives to the likes of ChatGPT and spearheading community projects such as BigScience. So in many ways, Meta and Hugging Face's tie-up today makes a great deal of sense, given their respective stances on the whole 'open' versus 'closed' AI discussion. 'For me, open source AI is the most important topic of the decade as it is the cornerstone toward democratizing ethical AI,' Hugging Face CEO Clement Delangue said in a statement.

From today through December 1 (2023), startups can apply to join the new 'AI Startup Program' at Station F, with five winners proceeding to the accelerator program that will run from January to June. The chosen startups, selected by a panel of judges from Meta, Hugging Face and French cloud company Scaleway, will have at least one thing in common -- they will be working on projects substantively built on open foundation models, or at the very least can demonstrate a 'willingness to integrate these models into their products and services,' according to the announcement issued by Meta today. 'With the proliferation of foundation models and generative artificial intelligence models, the aim is to bring the economic and technological benefits of open, state-of-the-art models to the French ecosystem,' the announcement noted. Indeed, the winning startups will receive mentoring from researchers and engineers at Meta, gain access to Hugging Face's various platforms and tools, and compute resources from Scaleway.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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