Meta has expanded its long-standing partnership with Microsoft to make Llama 2, its new family of large language models (LLMs), freely available to commercial customers for the first time via Microsoft Azure and Windows.
Llama 2 is designed to enable any developer or organisations to build generative artificial intelligence-powered tools and experiences. It is now available free of charge for both research and commercial use in the Azure AI model catalogue.
This will allow users to fine-tune and deploy the 7B, 13B, and 70B-parameter Llama 2 models easily and more safely on Azure, while also allowing them to take advantage of Azure AI’s powerful tooling for model training, fine-tuning, inference and safety.
In addition, Llama 2 has been optimised to run locally on Windows, which Microsoft hopes will help to “propel Windows as the best place for developers to build AI experiences tailored for their customers’ needs”.
“Meta and Microsoft share a commitment to democratising AI and its benefits and we are excited that Meta is taking an open approach with Llama 2,” said John Montgomery, corporate vice president of Azure AI, in a Microsoft blog post. “We offer developers choice in the types of models they build on, supporting open and frontier models and are thrilled to be Meta’s preferred partner as they release their new version of Llama 2 to commercial customers for the first time.
“This announcement builds on our partnership to accelerate innovation in the era of AI and further extends Microsoft’s open model ecosystem and position as the world’s supercomputing platform for AI,” added Montgomery. “This expansion and our partnership with Meta is a big step forward in achieving a responsible, open approach to AI.”
In a blog post, Meta noted that the newly expanded partnership would provide businesses around the world with greater access to foundational AI technologies. The firm said: “It’s not just Meta and Microsoft that believe in democratising access to today’s AI models. We have a broad range of diverse supporters around the world who believe in this approach too – including companies that have given us early feedback and are excited to build new products with Llama 2, cloud providers that will include Llama 2 in their offerings for customers, research institutions who are collaborating with us on the safe and responsible deployment of large generative models, and people across tech, academia, and policy who see the benefits as we do.”