Microsoft Silently Unveils Llama 2 Alternative  

Phi-2, a transformer model with 2.7 billion parameters
Microsoft is Hell Bent on Bringing AI to Windows

Microsoft’s chief Satya Nadella, announced Phi-2, an open-source model at Microsoft’s event Ignite. He highlighted Phi-2 as an enhanced iteration of Phi-1.5, displaying superior capabilities across various benchmarks while maintaining a relatively compact size with 2.7 billion parameters.

“Phi-2 exhibits a 50% improvement in mathematical reasoning. This open-source model, Phi-2, will soon be accessible through Microsoft’s catalog and model-as-a-service offerings.” added Nadella. 

At Microsoft Ignite, Microsoft unveiled ‘Models as a Service,’ granting users access to open-source models through hosted APIs. In addition to Phi-2, Microsoft will provide Llama2, Mistral, and Jais on its Model Catalog, as part of this service.

“You can fine-tune Llama 2 with your data to enhance the model’s understanding of your domain and generate more accurate predictions,” Nadella explained. He also emphasized Microsoft’s dedication to supporting models in all languages and across every country, citing the collaboration with G42 to bring the first Arabic model, Jais, onto Azure AI Studio. 

Azure AI Studio is a comprehensive toolchain, enabling users  to seamlessly navigate the entire lifecycle of building, customizing, training, evaluating, and deploying next-generation models. With built-in safety tools, prioritizing safety as a paramount feature of our platform, Azure AI Studio empowers users  to identify and filter harmful content, whether generated by users or AI, in your applications and services.

In September, Microsoft introduced Phi-1.5 which outperformed Llama 2’s 7-billion parameters model on several benchmarks.

Siddharth Jindal
Siddharth is a media graduate who loves to explore tech through journalism and putting forward ideas worth pondering about in the era of artificial intelligence.

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