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  • Mal McCallion

Review of the Year: OpenAI v LLaMA Drama

2023 will be remembered as THE year that Generative AI went mainstream.


Central to this was the twin push of OpenAI’s (ironically) closed platform and Meta’s emphatically open one, called LLaMA.


Their respective leaders were also frequently in the news, with OpenAI’s Sam Altman getting fired then rehired (with additional power over his empire as a result) and Meta’s Yann LeCun picking up everyone else’s tab and trying to make Mark Zuckerberg a force for good in the world.


As a result of these two’s efforts, a whole lot of technology changed. ChatGPT, OpenAI’s flagship product, released its fourth iteration in March to genuine astonishment. Its generative power helped in the fields of healthcare, legal documentation, marketing and customer service. Alongside that LLaMA enabled a vast number of developers to access the technology for free and build atop its significant power.


This Cambrian Explosion of creativity bodes well for the coming year’s innovation – and beyond. Arguments remain about whether OpenAI’s restriction of access to its source code is smart or stupid – and, similarly, whether Meta’s openness will end (for all of us) with bad actors using it to inflict existential damage on humanity itself.


Personally, as with humanity’s insistence that every car comes with a brake and some lights, I am sure that AI will be deployed with the appropriate guardrails to ensure that those who might wish to do harm (as they might wish to with bombs, guns, knives, fire etc) will find few opportunities to do so – and these will be closed-down quickly once they arise.


In the meantime, let’s get using the technology that’s out there for good – to help our clients and teams to really make a positive difference to their own lives and those around them.

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