Senators grilled Meta’s Zuckerberg over LLaMA AI model leak.

Two United States senators have sent a letter to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg regarding the company’s “leaked” artificial intelligence model, LLaMA, which they believe could be “dangerous” and used for “criminal activities.”

The letter, dated June 6, emphasizes the senators’ concerns about Zuckerberg’s decision to release LLaMA as open source software, criticizing Meta’s “unrestrained and permissive” approach to the AI model and arguing that there were “seemingly minimal” protections in place.

Meta released its advanced AI model, LLaMA, w/seemingly little consideration & safeguards against misuse—a real risk of fraud, privacy intrusions & cybercrime. Sen. Hawley & I are writing to Meta on the steps being taken to assess & prevent the abuse of LLaMA & other AI models.

— Richard Blumenthal (@SenBlumenthal) June 6, 2023

The senators acknowledged the benefits of open-source software but criticized Meta’s lack of thorough public consideration of the possible consequences of its widespread dissemination, which they believe is ultimately a “disservice to the public.”

LLaMA was initially released online only to researchers, but a user from the image board site 4chan leaked it in full in late February. The senators expressed concern that LLaMA could be easily adopted by spammers and cybercriminals to facilitate fraud and other illegal activities.

The senators compared LLaMA to other close source models, such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT-4 and Google’s Bard, to illustrate how easily LLaMA can generate abusive material. The senators also asked Zuckerberg about any risk assessments prior to LLaMA’s release, what Meta has done to prevent or mitigate damage since its release, and when Meta utilizes its users’ personal data for AI research, among other requests.

The article also notes that OpenAI is reportedly working on an open-source AI model amid increased pressure from other open-source models, highlighting advancements in a leaked document written by a senior software engineer at Google. Open-sourcing the code for AI models enables others to modify the model for a particular purpose and allows other developers to make contributions of their own.

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