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Meta plans to tease Llama 3 next week before a broader summer 2024 launch


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Meta isn’t ready to unveil its Llama 3 large language model (LLM) just yet, but that isn’t stopping the company from reportedly planning to tease some basic versions next week, according to The Information, which cited people who claim to have knowledge of its plans.

Llama 3 has long been expected to deliver multimodal support, letting users input text as well as images to return responses. Nevertheless, the company could launch two small, non-multimodal versions of Llama 3 next week before releasing the biggest Llama 3 model, which would be multimodal, as part of a broader Llama 3 this summer, according to The Information’s sources, who stopped short of saying what users can ultimately expect from the teaser.  

Also: I tested Meta’s Code Llama with 3 AI coding challenges that ChatGPT aced – and it wasn’t good

Llama 3 is Meta’s answer to OpenAI’s GPT-4, Anthropic’s Claude 3, Google’s Gemini, and other LLMs. Meta launched Llama 2 in July 2023 as an open-source platform, letting anyone use it as they see fit. Llama 2 was largely successful in helping Meta get a spot at the AI for businesses table, but the company still trails OpenAI and others for market leadership.

Meta itself has been tight-lipped regarding its Llama 3 plans, though most market analysts expect the company will undoubtedly ship Llama 3 as an open-source model. 

To say the stakes are high for Llama 3 would be an understatement. As companies around the globe race to adopt AI, the companies that are developing the LLMs are similarly trying to stay a step ahead — or catch up. Meta finds itself behind some of its competitors and absent a major leap ahead in 2024, runs the risk of remaining one of the companies trailing OpenAI.

Meta isn’t leaving anything to chance. The company has spent billions of dollars on AI investments and has acquired hundreds of thousands of Nvidia H100 GPUs. In other words, Meta is ready for a fight with other tech heavyweights.

Also: Meta’s ‘pruning’ of Llama 2 model shows path to slimmer AI

It’s unclear why Meta would want to tease Llama 3 next week. It’s possible the company wants to showcase some of its better innovations to whet the appetite for those who are waiting to determine which model they want to use later this year. It’s also possible that Meta wants to make clear that what it has in store will be something to watch — and wait for. Or maybe, Meta doesn’t want to look like it’s already lost the race.

Whatever the case, we likely won’t have long to wait. After Meta launches Llama 3 updates next week, the company is expected to launch the full model globally sometime this summer.

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