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  • Writer's pictureSarah Ruivivar

Meta and IBM's AI Alliance: A Game-Changer or a PR Stunt?


Image credits: Bryce Durbin / TechCrunch

In a surprising move, Meta and IBM have joined forces to launch the AI Alliance, an industry body aimed at supporting "open innovation" and "open science" in the field of artificial intelligence (AI).


But as the dust settles on the announcement, questions are being raised about the Alliance's true purpose and potential impact.


The AI Alliance's stated goal is to utilise pre-existing collaborations, such as the Partnership on AI, to develop open AI resources that meet the needs of business and society equally and responsibly. The Alliance plans to form working groups, a governing board, and a technical oversight committee dedicated to advancing areas like AI trust and validation metrics, hardware, infrastructure, and open-source AI models and frameworks.


However, the Alliance's mission appears to overlap significantly with the work already being done by its members independently. This has led to scepticism about whether the Alliance is truly a new initiative or simply a rebranding of existing efforts.


The absence of major AI industry players like Google, Microsoft, OpenAI, and Nvidia from the Alliance's membership also raises questions. These companies have been vocal critics of Meta's open-source AI approach, arguing that it could encourage disinformation and potentially be dangerous.


IBM's involvement in the Alliance is also intriguing. The company's recent earnings were boosted by interest in generative AI, but it faces stiff competition from Microsoft and OpenAI, who are developing similar services. The AI Alliance could provide IBM with more exposure for its generative AI platform.


Despite these concerns, the AI Alliance is moving forward with its plans. With around 45 organisations in its membership, including AMD, Intel, and various universities and AI startups, the Alliance aims to foster an open community and accelerate responsible innovation in AI.


Only time will tell whether the AI Alliance will succeed in its mission or crumble under the weight of competing interests and mistrust. For now, it remains a fascinating development in the ongoing battle for AI mindshare.



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