Meta Will Charge Tech Giants for ‘Free’ Llama 2 LLM, Plans Chinese Release Through Alibaba
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg slightly redefined how free the Llama 2 generative AI model introduced last week will be for businesses during Meta’s quarterly earnings call. Though most companies won’t have to pay any license fee, any tech giants that will leverage Llama 2 for their own proprietary generative AI products will have to pay for the data. The distinction comes as Chinese tech giant Alibaba has reached an agreement to support Llama 2 and enable Chinese businesses to design apps with the LLM.
Llama 2 Pay
When Meta unveiled Llama 2, the company explained that it would be license fee-free for businesses and that “preferred partner” Microsoft would be the main channel for distribution, supported by AWS, Hugging Face, and other platforms. Unlike the original Llama’s restriction to only research, Llama 2 is aimed at a universal market, especially the enterprise space. The deal with Microsoft will bring Llama 2 to the Azure model library and allow developers to build applications with it without paying a licensing fee, though they will have to agree to Meta’s terms and conditions. But there are some unmentioned caveats to the free access, according to Zuckerberg, who cited Meta’s need to keep every revenue channel possibility open. Cloud service companies and major tech brands will need to make separate deals with MEta to fully incorporate Llama 2.
“If you’re someone like Microsoft, Amazon or Google, and you’re going to basically be reselling the services, that’s something that we think we should get some portion of the revenue for,” explained Zuckerberg. “I don’t think that that’s going to be a large amount of revenue in the near-term, but over the long term, hopefully that can be something.”
The adjustment in costs for big tech brands comes just as Meta has made exactly that kind of deal with cloud services and general technology provider Alibaba. The Chinese tech firm has been working on its own LLM for generative AI projects, byt may be looking for a more brand-agnostic approach that it can leverage for different kinds of projects.
“Today, Alibaba Cloud is the first to launch a training and deployment solution for the entire series of Llama 2 in China, Alibaba posted on its WeChat channel. “All developers are welcome to create customized large models on Alibaba Cloud.”