Meta unveils Llama 2, while Bing Chat goes to enterprise

19 Jul 2023

Image: © kovop58/

Meta claims its open-source AI model could be a ‘suitable substitute’ for closed-source systems and has expanded its partnership with Microsoft.

Meta has released its latest large language model, making it freely available for both research and commercial use.

This new AI model is called Llama 2, the successor to the company’s research-focused model released earlier this year. The latest system is open source and comes in various sizes, ranging in scale from 7bn to 70bn parameters. This is similar to the previous model, with the largest range of Llama being 65bn parameters.

In terms of power, Meta claims its “fine-tuned” model – called Llama 2-chat – is optimised for “dialogue use cases”, which sounds similar to the popular chatbot ChatGPT.

“Our models outperform open-source chat models on most benchmarks we tested, and based on our human evaluations for helpfulness and safety, may be a suitable substitute for closed source models,” Meta said in a blog post.

“We believe an open approach is the right one for the development of today’s AI models, especially those in the generative space where the technology is rapidly advancing. By making AI models available openly, they can benefit everyone.”

To help boost the roll-out of Llama 2, Meta has expanded its partnership with Microsoft and is making the AI model available for developers using Microsoft Azure. Llama 2 is also being made available through other providers, such as Amazon Web Services and Hugging Face.

“With this expanded partnership, Microsoft and Meta are supporting an open approach to provide increased access to foundational AI technologies to the benefits of businesses globally,” the company said.

Microsoft brings Bing to enterprises

Meanwhile, Microsoft has unveiled an enterprise version of Bing Chat, the AI-powered search engine that surged in popularity earlier this year.

Bing gained a lot of attention after the tech giant incorporated OpenAI’s technology into the search engine, to give conversational-style answers to user questions. By March, Microsoft revealed that Bing crossed the 100m daily active user milestone, with roughly a third of those being new users.

The enterprise version appears to bear similarities to the regular version, with the ability to ask the AI chatbot questions and receive answers and citations. But Microsoft claims this paid version comes with extra measures to ensure sensitive business data remains safe while using AI.

“Chat data is not saved, and Microsoft has no eyes-on access – which means no one can view your data,” the company said in a blog post. “And, your data is not used to train the models.

“Whether researching industry insights, analysing data or looking for inspiration, Bing Chat Enterprise gives people access to better answers, greater efficiency and new ways to be creative.”

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic