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As AI Competition Intensifies, Companies in the Nation Focus on Lightweight Large Language Models



As US-based technology company OpenAI released a text-to-video model, Sora, last month, raising the stakes in the global AI race, more Chinese enterprises are creating lightweight large language models.

A smaller large model, sometimes referred to as a lightweight model, is essentially one that needs fewer parameters. In comparison to large models, this implies that their ability to process and produce text will be restricted.

To put it simply, these compact models are similar to these large models, which are similar to luxury sport utility vehicles.

The Chinese AI startup ModelBest Inc. garnered significant attention in the industry in February when it unveiled its most recent lightweight large model.

Called MiniCPM-2B, the model has an embedded capacity of 2 billion parameters, a far smaller number than the 1.7 trillion parameters that OpenAI’s massive GPT-4.0 can process.

With 2.7 billion parameters, Phi-2 is a tiny language model that can understand language and make common sense decisions. It was released in December by the US tech giant Microsoft.

The new model performs similarly to the Mistral-7B from the French AI company Mistral on publicly available general benchmarks, according to ModelBest CEO Li Dahai. However, Mistral’s model performs better in arithmetic, coding, and Chinese. Li said that with parameters at the 10-billion level, its overall performance outperforms some peer large models.

“Both large and smaller large models have their advantages, depending on the specific requirements of a task and their constraints, but Chinese companies may find a way out to leverage small models amid an AI boom,” Li added.

In an earlier interview, Zhou Hongyi, the founder and chairman of 360 Security Technology and a participant in the current two sessions of the 14th National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, stated that it might be difficult to develop a large model that is universal and better than GPT-4.0 at this time.

According to him, GPT-4.0 “knows everything, it is not specialized” at this point.

“If we can excel in a particular business domain by training a model with unique business data and integrating it with many business tools within that sector, such a model will not only have intelligence, but also possess unique knowledge, even hands and feet,” he explained.

According to Li, there will be significant commercial value for such a lightweight model if it can be implemented in various industries.

“If the model is compressed, it will require fewer calculations to operate, which also means less powerful processors and less time to complete responses,” Li explained.

“With the popularity of such end-side models, the inference cost of more electronic devices, such as mobile phones, will further decrease in the future,” he stated.


Biden, Kishida Secure Support from Amazon and Nvidia for $50 Million Joint AI Research Program



As the two countries seek to enhance cooperation around the rapidly advancing technology, President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida have enlisted Inc. and Nvidia Corp. to fund a new joint artificial intelligence research program.

A senior US official briefed reporters prior to Wednesday’s official visit at the White House, stating that the $50 million project will be a collaborative effort between Tsukuba University outside of Tokyo and the University of Washington in Seattle. A separate collaborative AI research program between Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh and Tokyo’s Keio University is also being planned by the two nations.

The push for greater research into artificial intelligence comes as the Biden administration is weighing a series of new regulations designed to minimize the risks of AI technology, which has developed as a key focus for tech companies. The White House announced late last month that federal agencies have until the end of the year to determine how they will assess, test, and monitor the impact of government use of AI technology.

In addition to the university-led projects, Microsoft Corp. announced on Tuesday that it would invest $2.9 billion to expand its cloud computing and artificial intelligence infrastructure in Japan. Brad Smith, the president of Microsoft, met with Kishida on Tuesday. The company released a statement announcing its intention to establish a new AI and robotics lab in Japan.

Kishida, the second-largest economy in Asia, urged American business executives to invest more in Japan’s developing technologies on Tuesday.

“Your investments will enable Japan’s economic growth — which will also be capital for more investments from Japan to the US,” Kishida said at a roundtable with business leaders in Washington.

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OnePlus and OPPO Collaborate with Google to Introduce Gemini Models for Enhanced Smartphone AI



As anticipated, original equipment manufacturers, or OEMs, are heavily integrating AI into their products. Google is working with OnePlus, OPPO, and other companies to integrate Gemini models into their smartphones. They intend to introduce the Gemini models on smartphones later this year, becoming the first OEMs to do so. Gemini models will go on sale later in 2024, as announced at the Google Cloud Next 24 event. Gemini models are designed to provide users with an enhanced artificial intelligence (AI) experience on their gadgets.

Customers in China can now create AI content on-the-go with devices like the OnePlus 12 and OPPO Find X7 thanks to OnePlus and OPPO’s Generative AI models.

The AI Eraser tool was recently made available to all OnePlus customers worldwide. This AI-powered tool lets users remove unwanted objects from their photos. For OnePlus and OPPO, AI Eraser is only the beginning.

In the future, the businesses hope to add more AI-powered features like creating original social media content and summarizing news stories and audio.

AndesGPT LLM from OnePlus and OPPO powers AI Eraser. Even though the Samsung Galaxy S24 and Google Pixel 8 series already have this feature, it is still encouraging to see OnePlus and OPPO taking the initiative to include AI capabilities in their products.

OnePlus and OPPO devices will be able to provide customers with a more comprehensive and sophisticated AI experience with the release of the Gemini models. It is important to remember that OnePlus and OPPO already power the Trinity Engine, which makes using phones incredibly smooth, and use AI and computational mathematics to enhance mobile photography.

By 2024, more original equipment manufacturers should have AI capabilities on their products. This is probably going to help Google because OEMs will use Gemini as the foundation upon which to build their features.

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Meta Explores AI-Enabled Search Bar on Instagram



In an attempt to expand the user base for its generative AI-powered products, Meta is moving forward. The business is experimenting with inserting Meta AI into the Instagram search bar for both chat with AI and content discovery, in addition to testing the chatbot Meta AI with users in nations like India on WhatsApp.

When you type a query into the search bar, Meta AI initiates a direct message (DM) exchange in which you can ask questions or respond to pre-programmed prompts. Aravind Srinivas, CEO of Perplexity AI, pointed out that the prompt screen’s design is similar to the startup’s search screen.

Plus, it might make it easier for you to find fresh Instagram content. As demonstrated in a user-posted video on Threads, you can search for Reels related to a particular topic by tapping on a prompt such as “Beautiful Maui sunset Reels.”

Additionally, TechCrunch spoke with a few users who had the ability to instruct Meta AI to look for recommendations for Reels.

By using generative AI to surface new content from networks like Instagram, Meta hopes to go beyond text generation.

With TechCrunch, Meta verified the results of its Instagram AI experiment. But the company didn’t say whether or not it uses generative AI technology for search.

A Meta representative told TechCrunch, “We’re testing a range of our generative AI-powered experiences publicly in a limited capacity. They are under development in varying phases.”

There are a ton of posts available discussing Instagram search quality. It is therefore not surprising that Meta would want to enhance search through the use of generative AI.

Furthermore, Instagram should be easier to find than TikTok, according to Meta. In order to display results from Reddit and TikTok, Google unveiled a new perspectives feature last year. Instagram is developing a feature called “Visibility off Instagram” that could allow posts to appear in search engine results, according to reverse engineer Alessandro Paluzzi, who made this discovery earlier this week on X.

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