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HomeInternationalFrench startup Mistral AI pledges to uphold open source 

French startup Mistral AI pledges to uphold open source 

French startup Mistral AI, a prominent player in artificial intelligence, pledged on Tuesday to keep its code open source. This commitment stands firm even as the company embarks on a collaboration with Microsoft, where it plans to sell some of its software.

This declaration coincides with a legal action by US billionaire Elon Musk against OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT, which also has connections to Microsoft. Musk alleges that the company has strayed from its initial non-profit mission to make AI research accessible to everyone.

Musk said Monday he would make his own chatbot, Grok, open source.

On Monday, Elon Musk announced his decision to release his chatbot, Grok, as open source.

At a Microsoft-organized event in Paris, Mistral AI’s head of public affairs, Audrey Herblin-Stoop, emphasized the importance of open source. She stated that it is crucial for establishing a European AI ecosystem and aims to close the gap with US companies.

“The goal is not to abandon open source,” she said. “This technology is revolutionary and we have to be transparent — we must enable people to look under the hood and it’s open source that allows this.” 

The French company, estimated to be worth around $2 billion by some financial entities, unveiled its third-generation language model, “Mistral Large,” in late February. Alongside this, it announced a collaboration with Microsoft.

Mistral Large, positioned by Mistral as equivalent to OpenAI’s GPT-4, is currently accessible on Microsoft’s Azure AI platform.

Co-founder Arthur Mensch affirmed to the French daily Le Monde that despite selling software through the US tech giant, the company remains committed to open source principles.

“Commercial activity will enable us to finance the costly research needed to develop new models,” he said. “We will continue to work on both tracks.” 

The introduction of ChatGPT and other American models sparked a surge among European companies to catch up with the progress.

Established in April 2023, Mistral AI was founded by three French engineers with prior experience at Meta, the parent company of Facebook, and Google.

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