In recent years, we've seen a remarkable surge in the accessibility of AI language models. While the giants of the industry have been leveraging API-accessible models, the arena of "open models" is witnessing a significant rise. And with Mistral, a budding French AI startup, it seems the landscape is about to transform even further.
Mistral’s Grand Unveiling
After successfully raising an impressive seed round in June, Mistral has unveiled its debut model, boasting performance that surpasses other models of its caliber. What sets this model apart from the rest? It's not only remarkable in terms of performance, but it's also absolutely free to use.
Available for download right now, the Mistral 7B model offers several avenues of access, including a sizable 13.4-gigabyte torrent. The budding community support is evident, with hundreds already seeding the torrent. Mistral isn't stopping there; they've initiated a GitHub repository and a Discord channel, aimed at fostering collaboration and aiding with troubleshooting.
Embracing Open Source with Apache 2.0 License
What truly makes the Mistral 7B model a gem in the AI landscape is its release under the Apache 2.0 license. This license is renowned for its permissiveness, imposing no constraints on the use or reproduction of the model – the only requirement being attribution. This democratizes access, making it viable for anyone, from individual hobbyists to colossal corporations or even government entities like the Pentagon, to utilize it, provided they have the infrastructure or are ready to bear the cloud expenses.
Mistral 7B vs. Other Models
Positioning itself as a refined iteration of other "small" large language models like Llama 2, Mistral 7B promises comparable abilities but with a substantially lower computational cost. While foundation models such as GPT-4 have their strengths, their high running costs and complexity limit their availability, typically confining them to API or remote access.
In their own words, Mistral’s vision is clear: “Our ambition is to become the leading supporter of the open generative AI community, and bring open models to state-of-the-art performance.” The release of Mistral 7B is a testament to their commitment, reflecting the culmination of three months of fervent work. From assembling the Mistral AI team and overhauling an MLops stack to crafting a top-tier data processing pipeline, the team has achieved what many might believe takes far longer.
The accelerated success might surprise some, but the founders' prior experiences working on analogous models at industry behemoths like Meta and Google DeepMind provided them with an edge.
Mistral is clearly not just another player in the AI field. With their focus on open models and commitment to superior performance, they are paving the way for a new era in AI technology. Only time will tell how Mistral’s models will reshape the future, but one thing is certain: they've already made a lasting impression.