Google is opening up AI development with its open-source model Gemma.
Credit: Google

Meet Gemma, Google’s new open-source AI model.

Google recently introduced Gemma, a family of models aimed at assisting developers and researchers in creating AI responsibly. Gemma is based on the same research and technology as Google’s closed-source models, like Gemini which powers the Gemini chatbot and Workspace tools.

How Gemma compares in the AI race

In the ongoing competition between Google and OpenAI in the AI sector, OpenAI seems to have a slight advantage. Google frequently releases new features, only to be outdone by OpenAI shortly after. While Google announced Gemini, OpenAI countered with GPT stores. Subsequently, Google introduced an update to Gemini known as “Gemini 1.5,” which was quickly overshadowed by OpenAI’s AI video generator Sora.

Unlike OpenAI, which hasn’t developed open-source versions of its models, Google has taken a step towards transparency with Gemma. The company aims to make AI accessible to everyone through Gemma, even though the exact training methods are not fully disclosed.

Gemma is available in two model weights: Gemma 2B and Gemma 7B. These models are pre-trained and come with variants tailored for specific instructions, suitable for running on various hardware setups. While Gemma focuses on text-to-text support unlike the multimodal Gemini, Google claims Gemma exceeds larger models in performance benchmarks while ensuring safe outputs.

Concerning safety, Gemma is equipped to filter out personal information and has undergone rigorous testing for potential harms. Google has also released a toolkit for Responsible Generative AI to aid in developing LLMs safely.

Gemma can be accessed for free on platforms like Kaggle, Colab, Hugging Face, MaxText, and Nvidia NeMo, with new Google Cloud users eligible for $300 in credits.

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Cecily Mauran

Cecily is a tech reporter at Mashable who covers AI, Apple, and emerging tech trends. Before getting her master’s degree at Columbia Journalism School, she spent several years working with startups and social impact businesses for Unreasonable Group and B Lab. Before that, she co-founded a startup consulting business for emerging entrepreneurial hubs in South America, Europe, and Asia. You can find her on Twitter at @cecily_mauran.


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