Open Assistant: An Open Source ChatGPT

An open source ChatGPT platform Open Assistant will compete with ChatGPT to build a conversational AI for all.
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Open Assistant, a Large-scale Artificial Intelligence Open Network (LAION) initiative, is an open source ChatGPT model which will compete with OpenAI’s ChatGPT. The goal is to have conversational AI for all. Open Assistant is meant to bring people to collaborate on LLM to create and promote AI-generated language applications. Through crowdsourcing, the platform wishes to address the competitive advantage that ChatGPT has created in the market , and allow the creation of newer AI chatbots in a free-for-all platform. 

Open Assistant will lead to transparency among researchers and programmers which will accelerate progress in the AI chatbot field. The reference models that open source will work on, are with respect to specific use cases, such as general knowledge questions, high school maths, essay reviewing, creative fiction writing, and fulfilling tasks that are available to the FlanT5-XXL model. Their goal is to design a model that can be easily accessed on desktops of small organisations like schools. Education is one of the primary focus areas.  

Development of Open Assistant will go beyond ChatGPT as mentioned by LAION. They have mentioned that they want to go beyond the creation of a straight-forward ChatGPT. As the name suggests, Open Assistant will be built as an “assistant of the future”. It won’t stop at writing emails and cover letters alone but will be able to use APIs and research information to name a few, and all this will be provided at a personalised level. 

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Security and quality are key criteria considered while building Open Assistant. “Our main objective is to ensure safety and equal access for all, with a focus on privacy and preventing harmful output from our AI systems,” mentions LAION under their objectives for building an open source platform. An RLHF (reinforcement learning and human-computer interaction) will be developed and the data will be collated from multiple datasets via crowdworkers. Repositories will store these RLHF data, which can be accessed and contributed to by researchers. 

Open Assistant is currently in the early stages of development, and is working on applying RLHF to large language models.

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