IBM, Intel, Sony, and Dell have forged a strategic alliance with Meta, several prestigious universities, and a coalition of tech startups on Tuesday. They have announced the establishment of the “AI Alliance” which is a strategic collaboration aimed at disrupting the perceived dominance of established players in the industry such as OpenAI, Microsoft, Google, and Amazon dealing in the field of artificial intelligence (AI).
This union of over 50 participants including corporate and innovative startups represents a shift from the closed development models embraced by leading AI developers. Here, it is noteworthy that industry dominants like OpenAI are primarily backed by Microsoft and have firm control over its AI algorithms. Similarly, other industry leaders like Google and Amazon also have hesitated to fully open source their models due to concerns related to competition and safety.
The AI Alliance aims to counter the concentration of power by fostering open collaboration. The diverse participation includes chip manufacturers like AMD and Cerebras, AI startups such as Hugging Face and Stability AI, and esteemed universities like Yale, Cornell, and Dartmouth.
This collaborative effort seeks to establish common frameworks for evaluating AI algorithm strength, allocate capital to AI research funds, and promote collaboration on open-source models. Here, while illustrating the commitment to openness in the industry IBM highlighted its collaboration with NASA on an open-sourced AI model for tracking deforestation and predicting crop yields.
IBM has also announced a substantial financial investment of approximately $100 million to support AI research at universities over the next five years. Apart from that, IBM and Meta have also collaborated on an open-source toolkit for AI development.
While governance details are still in the finalization stage Dario Gill Senior Vice President at IBM has emphasized that the alliance focuses on defining objectives and building a coalition. And, the next steps involve establishing 'technical working groups’ for the diverse participants and designing a governance structure.
The formation of this AI Alliance signals a major shift in the AI landscape as the industry leaders unite to challenge the established order and form a collaborative, open-source approach to advance the field.