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LLMs keep leaping with Llama 3, Meta’s newest open-weights AI model

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | Benj Edwards)

On Thursday, Meta unveiled early versions of its Llama 3 open-weights AI model that can be used to power text composition, code generation, or chatbots. It also announced that its Meta AI Assistant is now available on a website and is going to be integrated into its major social media apps, intensifying the company’s efforts to position its products against other AI assistants like OpenAI’s ChatGPT, Microsoft’s Copilot, and Google’s Gemini.

Like its predecessor, Llama 2, Llama 3 is notable for being a freely available, open-weights large language model (LLM) provided by a major AI company. Llama 3 technically does not quality as “open source” because that term has a specific meaning in software (as we have mentioned in other coverage), and the industry has not yet settled on terminology for AI model releases that ship either code or weights with restrictions (you can read Llama 3’s license here) or that ship without providing training data. We typically call these releases “open weights” instead.

At the moment, Llama 3 is available in two parameter sizes: 8 billion (8B) and 70 billion (70B), both of which are available as free downloads through Meta’s website with a sign-up. Llama 3 comes in two versions: pre-trained (basically the raw, next-token-prediction model) and instruction-tuned (fine-tuned to follow user instructions). Each has a 8,192 token context limit.

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