Can we start a public Open source AI?

This is important, so that by the time the big companies have their paid A.I’s fully developed and in “control”, we the people will have an AI that is a free for all tool and under the watchful eye of we the people.

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I like the idea. How do we do that?

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AI isn’t a specific thing, it’s a marketing term that purposefully covers a huge amount of different techniques. “An AI” in the sense I think you mean is just science fiction, it’s a hypothetical. That doesn’t mean it couldn’t exist at some future point, but there’s nothing in existence that’s even vaguely close.

You can have open source projects that use techniques that fall under the banner of “AI”, and these already exist in vast numbers: see hugging face as the most obvious example

Well, unless you subscribe to the simulation hypothesis, in which case, such an AI might already be running everything. :robot:


People are never going to pick a second-grade option just to remain in control. By the time “true AI” has taken the stage it will not be run by “the people”, that is for sure.

Considering how relatively poorly we (humanity) have handled our technological and scientific advancements so far, I wouldn’t put it passed us to achieve some kind of technological Armageddon.

lets form the team, i like ur username, its simple yet unique, one of those names :wink: but yea @DanCouper says its already in the making and that there are many of them but who says we cant make a different one, you have to see it in terms of this being the start of what will later form the foundation for whats to come. lets ride the wave, i say its still relatively early. what do you guys think?

I think you are severely underestimating the commercial aspect of this. If something is worth a lot of money it will be ruled by corporations. Give me one example of something ubiquitous and worth a lot of money that isn’t run by corporations.

Sure you can have a grassroots movement and maybe it will offer up an alternative, but most people will not use it because it will never be as good as the thing with billions of dollars and vast resources behind it.

Edit: Even if it is just as good, or better, you will still lose the mindshare war. If I can flash the brand for my inferior product in people’s faces often enough for long enough it will outsell your superior product every time. People are not as free-spirited as you think.

Fight it as much as you’d like, I think that train left the station long ago.

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What I mean is this: when you say “make a different one”, a different what? “AI” isn’t a specific thing, it’s a collection of different technologies used for specific purposes. It’s not really general.

I donno, Wikipedia, linux , firefox , bitcoin and the internet to name a few. I think some people do use them from time to time…
Anyone I don’t think flashing a brand will be to much of an issue I think, advertising has to be powerful not expensive.

Yeah most people are not free spirited and that’s too bad but that doesn’t change the fact that the world is constantly on the look out for new and exciting. This can be used as an advantage to get a new project out there.
@DanCouper I donna WHY it really matters which AI @nerdbrain is referring too. I like the idea it sound’s cool and exciting and what is there to really lose by starting a public project? If worse comes to worse people will say that it sucks and all contributors will get thrown in to the garbage. I’m kidding but you get the idea I don’t really see any reason not to do this after all if the trains already left the station we still have the option of catching a plane. But maybe your right that this doesn’t work so lemme know what you guys think.

AI is a fancy term for some fancy statistics. The statistics themselves are all publicly known. The access to the data and the money required to purchase CPU/GPU time to train a specific model on the scale of ChatGPT is difficult/expensive.

But broadly speaking, it’s a bit vague to say ‘open source AI’. ChatGPT is a statistical model trained to emulate natural human language. Is that what you mean? There are tons of different things you can train a statistical model to replicate if you have the data. What exactly do you mean by AI?

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It matters because software is a tool for a purpose, it doesn’t stand on its own. It has no use except as a way to fulfil some goal. Saying “we should build an AI” is kinda meaningless, because there’s no purpose.

There’s no reason not to do it as a learning exercise, but even then there has to be some purpose. This is why the (correct) advice most often given to people on these forums asking how to improve – “just build something” – is normally met with “what should I build”. You can’t just have a nebulous goal.

I would disagree with @lasjorg on one point, that the train has left the station – lots and lots of people are building things (and have been for decades) that could be considered “AI”.

What is difficult to build and is something that is heavily controlled by commercial interests is stuff that scrapes petabytes of data from the internet and uses that to assemble some particular thing (images, text that looks like a human wrote it, etc). Running that through server farms running neural nets. Training it using humans in [for example] some third-world country rating the output (in the case of OpenAI), or via some security technology (in the case of Google’s Capcha), or by using/building a widely used platform then changing the ToS so that you can scrape the data (Adobe, Twitter, etc). That costs vast sums of money and access to huge infrastructures.

It has to be noted that that vast cost may not be necessary, you can get things that fit the AI label that are impressive & require far less in terms of resources. Whether the stuff that commands the most attention (ChatGPT, Midjourney) is actually worth much commercially is :person_shrugging: What is likely worth money is stuff like facial recognition systems, and that will likely be captured by big commercial interests. Otherwise, you have lots of specialised tools that might benefit from using AI techniques, and that won’t stop. But again, it’s a tool, and building useful tools requires domain knowledge, the tech is in service to that.

Yes, but these things are not worth money. They may be used by {some entity} to make money, but that’s not their purpose. This is why Firefox, for example, is on such fragile ground: it mainly stays afloat because Google pays the foundation to make Google search the default. That’s it. Firefox itself is worthless, financially. You could say Chrome isn’t, but that’s only because it is a tool used to aid Google’s business.

Lots of people may use those things, but that does not imbue monetary value. Business, corporations, etc.: those, on the other hand, require things that make money, that’s those entities’ reason for existence.

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  • Wikipedia might be ubiquitous, but I wouldn’t call its business model profitable. I’m also not so sure we can trust it to be free from corporate, political, and other influences. But I will say, it is probably the best example on your list.

  • Linux (the kernel) might not be, but the distros are. I’d suggest you look into who is behind some of the larger Linux distributions.

  • Firefox isn’t ubiquitous and it does in fact have a corporation behind it. Also, they might not be as free from corporate ties as you think they are reddit.

  • Bitcoin…I don’t really know how to respond to that. It isn’t just about ownership, it is about how something is used. That is like saying water isn’t ruled by corporations because nature makes it. I’d consider Bitcoin to be very much ruled by greed and corporations. Don’t get me started on the web3 insanity.

  • I’m not sure you can say “The Internet” as if it was some “thing” anyone can own. But it is most certainly run by corporations.

I’m not saying we can’t create things, I’m saying “we can’t have nice things”. It will invariably get gobbled up by some entity with its own agend.

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