In a groundbreaking move, Mistral AI, a French AI startup, has released its first large language model, Mistral 7B, for free public use. This comes after the company secured significant seed funding earlier this year. Unlike many other language models that are only accessible via APIs, Mistral 7B is entirely free to download and use, with no strings attached.
What Sets Mistral 7B Apart?
The Mistral 7B model is not just another language model; it claims to outperform other models of its size. It's available for download through various means, including a 13.4-gigabyte torrent. The company has also initiated a GitHub repository and a Discord channel for community collaboration and troubleshooting.
Licensing and Usage
One of the most notable aspects of Mistral 7B is its licensing under the Apache 2.0 license. This highly permissive license allows anyone—from hobbyists to multi-billion-dollar corporations—to use the model as long as they attribute it to Mistral AI.
Performance and Capabilities
Mistral 7B is designed to be a more refined version of other "small" large language models like Llama 2. It offers similar capabilities but at a significantly lower computational cost. While it may not be as powerful as models like GPT-4, it is much easier and cheaper to run.
The Team and Their Ambitions
The Mistral AI team has a rich background, having previously worked on similar models at Meta and Google DeepMind. In a blog post, they expressed their ambition to lead the open generative AI community and bring open models to state-of-the-art performance.
Although Mistral 7B is free to use, the company plans to offer paid products for those who wish to delve deeper. These will be distributed as white-box solutions, making both the code and weights available. They are also working on hosted solutions and dedicated deployments for enterprises.
Is Mistral 7B truly free?
Yes, it is free to download and use under the Apache 2.0 license.
How does Mistral 7B compare to other language models?
It claims to outperform other models of its size and is designed to be more cost-effective.
What are the future plans for Mistral AI?
The company is actively working on hosted solutions and dedicated deployments for enterprises.
Mistral AI's release of its free-to-use Mistral 7B model is a significant milestone in the AI community. It not only democratizes access to advanced language models but also sets a new standard for performance and openness.