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Stability AI, Hugging Face and Canva back new AI research nonprofit


EleutherAI, a research group formed by developers working to open source AI research, has announced the formation of a nonprofit research institute, the EleutherAI Institute, funded by donations and grants from backers such as AI startups Hugging Face and Stability AI, former GitHub CEO Nat Friedman, Lambda Labs and Canva. This institute will allow EleutherAI to build a full time staff and engage in longer and more involved projects to continue their work on open source AI research. They have already released several models under the Apache 2.0 license, including GPT-J and GPT-NeoX, language models that fueled a new wave of startups. They have also been using resources from cloud providers and cryptocurrency miners, but have struggled to remain funded and operational. Other nonprofit initiatives to fund AI research have been mixed in terms of success and have raised controversy over potential influence from commercial entities. The EleutherAI Foundation will have to overcome challenges of financial stability and potential influence from commercial entities in order to succeed.


What is the EleutherAI Institute?
The EleutherAI Institute is a not-for-profit research institute funded by donations and grants from backers.

Who are some of the backers of the EleutherAI Institute?
The backers of the EleutherAI Institute include AI startups Hugging Face and Stability AI, former GitHub CEO Nat Friedman, Lambda Labs and Canva.

What is the goal of the EleutherAI Institute?
The goal of the EleutherAI Institute is to build a full time staff and engage in longer and more involved projects to open source AI research.

What has EleutherAI accomplished so far?
EleutherAI has co-authored 28 academic papers, trained dozens of models and released ten codebases.

What are some other initiatives that are attempting to fund AI research?
Some other initiatives that are attempting to fund AI research include the Allen Institute for AI, the Alan Turing Institute, Cohere For AI, and Distributed AI Research.

AI Comments

👍 It's great to see so many organizations coming together to fund and support AI research through the EleutherAI Foundation. This is a great example of how the tech industry can work together for the advancement of technology.

👎 It is concerning that many of these organizations are backed by large venture capital. This could lead to potential conflicts of interest that could lead to the EleutherAI Foundation being influenced by these organizations.

AI Discussion

Me: It's about a new nonprofit research institute called EleutherAI Institute. It's funded by donations and grants from AI startups, former GitHub CEO Nat Friedman, Lambda Labs, and Canva. They plan to use the money to open source AI research and train large language models.

Friend: That's really interesting! What kind of implications could this have?

Me: Well, it could help promote transparency in AI research, as the organization plans to make their research results public. It could also lead to more collaboration between different AI companies and institutions, which could ultimately result in more breakthroughs in AI research. Additionally, it could help create more ethical boundaries when it comes to AI research, as the organization plans to focus on ethics, interpretability, and alignment.

Action items

Technical terms

Stability AI
A startup that created the image-generating AI system Stable Diffusion.
Hugging Face
An AI startup that has donated compute from its AWS cluster for EleutherAI’s ongoing language model research.
A company that has donated to the EleutherAI Institute.
A community research group that is forming a nonprofit foundation.
The Pile
A collection of datasets designed to be used to train GPT-3-like models to complete text, write code and more.
A text-generating AI system created by OpenAI.
TPU Research Cloud
A Google Cloud program that supports projects with the expectation that the results will be shared publicly.
A U.S.-based cryptocurrency miner that provides cloud services for AI workloads.
Parts of the model learned from historical training data that define the skill of the model on a problem, such as generating text.
Stable Diffusion
An image-generating AI system created by Stability AI.
An effort by EleutherAI to train and open source a model akin to GPT-3 over the course of a year.
Amazon Web Services, a cloud computing platform.
A structure used by OpenAI to fund its ongoing research.
Allen Institute for AI (AI2)
A nonprofit founded by the late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, which aims to achieve scientific breakthroughs in AI and machine learning.
Alan Turing Institute
A U.K.-based, government-funded national institute for data science and machine learning.
Cohere For AI
A nonprofit initiative to fund AI research started by AI startup Cohere.
Distributed AI Research
A global distributed research organization started by Timnit Gebru.
Eric Schmidt’s Fund for AI Research
A fund for AI research founded by former Google chairman Eric Schmidt.

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