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ChatGPT but Open Source: That's What This Project is Aiming For

Will we finally have a working open-source alternative to ChatGPT? This looks promising!

open source ChatGPT

Companies with deep pockets entirely control powerful chatbots like ChatGPT.

Whether you find the existence of AI-powered chatbots like ChatGPT useful is a different story 😅

It takes a lot of effort to maintain the architecture that supports the working of such a chatbot. Sure, the folks at OpenAI have done impressive work. But, we get no transparency, no community voice, and it is not freely accessible for others to build ChatGPT-like systems.

Just like we have Linux as an alternative to Windows and macOS, we need an open-source solution to ChatGPT.

Unfortunately, it is not as simple as it sounds 🧐

To train AI models for chatbots, a project needs massive computing power and datasets to train the model. And open-source projects do not necessarily have the kind of funding to make that happen unless someone passionate decides to invest a lot to fight against the big tech companies.

Fortunately, a team of talented professionals seems to have made promising progress in developing an open-source ChatGPT alternative.

OpenChatKit by Together

Together, an organization aims to overcome the challenges of creating an open-source ChatGPT-like system.

Thanks to TechCrunch for spotting such an exciting endeavor.

They recently unveiled their first major project, OpenChatKit, a framework to create AI-powered chatbots. Along with the project, you can also find trained models that any developer can use to create an AI-powered chatbot.

openchatkit demo
OpenChatKit demo

You can find it on GitHub to explore the technical bits about it and a demo to test the models.

With the open-source repositories, anyone can replicate the same, tweak their own experience, and integrate it with things.

Together also collaborated with other research organizations, including LAION (responsible for developing Stable Diffusion) and Ontocord, to create a training dataset containing more than 40 million questions and answers examples.

The dataset is called Open Instruction Generalist Dataset.

Of course, considering OpenChatKit is something new, it still needs a long way to go, but it is not bad at responding to typical and interesting questions.

Furthermore, OpenChatKit also provides a good moderation feature (a dataset is available), which developers can improve and use.

Overall, the open nature of development should come in useful in the near future. Quoting what Together's founder (Vipul Ved Prakash) mentions via TechCrunch's coverage:

Our thesis is that the more the open research community can audit, inspect and improve generative AI technologies the better enabled we will be as a society to come up with solutions to these risks. We believe a world in which the power of large generative AI models is solely held within a handful of large technology companies, unable able to audited, inspected or understood, carries greater risk.

The impact of chatbots and use cases is still controversial and tough to moderate.

However, with an open development approach to such a system, we can bring in more transparency, community purview, and customizability to fine-tune it in a way that is safe for everyone and valuable at the same time.

💬 What do you think about OpenChatKit by Together? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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