UAE releases new AI model Falcon 2 to compete with Meta, OpenAI
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UAE releases new AI model Falcon 2 to compete with Meta, OpenAI

UAE releases new AI model Falcon 2 to compete with Meta, OpenAI

The Falcon 2 series come as companies and countries are racing to develop their own large language models following the 2022 release of ChatGPT by OpenAI

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Abu Dhabi’s Technology Innovation Institute (TII), a government research institute released a new open source GenAI model, which could rival the ones from big technology companies.

The TII said it was releasing the Falcon 2 series: Falcon 2 11B, a text-based model, and Falcon 2 11B VLM, a vision-to-language model that can generate a text description of an uploaded image.

TII is a research centre within Abu Dhabi’s Advanced Technology Research Council.

The UAE is making huge investments in artificial intelligence. Abu Dhabi-backed G42’s unit Core42 released Jais Chat, an Arabic-English bilingual AI chatbot on Monday.

Read: Core42 launches Jais Chat: An Arabic-English AI chatbot

Falcon 2 versus Meta, Google

The TII said its latest LLM was tested against several prominent AI models in its class among pre-trained models such as Llama 3 and Gemma 7B.

It said that “Falcon 2 11B surpasses the performance of Meta’s newly launched Llama 3 with 8 billion parameters(8B), and performs on par with Google’s Gemma 7B at first place (Falcon 2 11B: 64.28 vs Gemma 7B: 64.29), as independently verified by Hugging Face”, a US-based platform hosting an objective evaluation tool and global leaderboard for open LLMs.

More importantly, Falcon 2 11B and 11B VLM are both open-source, empowering developers worldwide with unrestricted access.

Capabilities

Falcon 2 11B models is equipped with multilingual capabilities, seamlessly tackle tasks in English, French, Spanish, German, Portuguese, and various other languages, enriching their versatility and magnifying their effectiveness across diverse scenarios.

Falcon 2 11B VLM, a 2 vision-to-language model, has the capability to identify and interpret images and visuals from the environment, providing a wide range of applications across industries such as healthcare, finance, e-commerce, education, and legal sectors.

Image credit: Sourced from TII

These applications range from document management, digital archiving, and context indexing to supporting individuals with visual impairments.

Furthermore, these models can run efficiently on just one graphics processing unit (GPU), making them highly scalable, and easy to deploy and integrate into lighter infrastructures like laptops and other devices.

In the near future, there are plans to broaden the Falcon 2 next-generation models, introducing a range of sizes. These models will be further enhanced with advanced machine learning capabilities like ‘Mixture of Experts’ (MoE), aimed at pushing their performance to even more sophisticated levels.

Focus on AI

Advanced Technology Research Council Secretary General Faisal Al Bannai, who is also an adviser to the president on strategic research and advanced technology, said the UAE was demonstrating it can be a major player in artificial intelligence.

G42 recently secured a $1.5bn investment from Microsoft that was coordinated with Washington.

The Falcon 2 series come as companies and countries are racing to develop their own large language models following the 2022 release of ChatGPT by OpenAI.

While some have opted to keep their AI code proprietary, others, like UAE’s Falcon and Meta’s Llama, have made their code publicly available for anyone to use.

Al Bannai said he was optimistic about Falcon 2’s performance and that they were working on “Falcon 3 generation”.

“We’re very proud that we can still punch way above our weight, really compete with the best players globally,” he said.

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