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Technology Innovation Institute launches new versions of open-source AI model Falcon 2 11B

Technology Innovation Institute launches new versions of open-source AI model Falcon 2 11B
23 May 2024 10:23

ABU DHABI (ALETIHAD)

The Technology Innovation Institute (TII), a leading global scientific research centre and the applied research pillar of Abu Dhabi’s Advanced Technology Research Council (ATRC), has launched the second iteration of its large language model (LLM), Falcon 2 11B.

Falcon 2 comprises two versions: Falcon 2 11B, a more efficient and accessible LLM trained on 5.5 trillion tokens with 11 billion parameters, and Falcon 2 11B VLM, distinguished by its vision-to-language model (VLM) capabilities, which enables the conversion of visual inputs into textual outputs. While both models are multilingual, notably, Falcon 2 11B VLM stands out as TII's first multimodal model and the only model currently in the top-tier market with image-to-text conversion capability, marking a significant advancement in AI innovation.

Tested against several prominent AI models in its class among pre-trained models, Falcon 2 11B surpasses the performance of Meta’s newly launched Llama 3 with 8 billion parameters (8B) and performs on par with Google’s Gemma 7B at first place (Falcon 2 11B: 64.28 vs Gemma 7B: 64.29), as independently verified by Hugging Face, a US-based platform hosting an objective evaluation tool and global leaderboard for open LLMs. More importantly, Falcon 2 11B and 11B VLM are both open-source, empowering developers worldwide with unrestricted access. In the future, plans are underway to broaden the Falcon 2 next-generation models, introducing a range of sizes. These models will be further enhanced with advanced machine learning capabilities like Mixture of Experts (MoE), aimed at pushing their performance to even more sophisticated levels.

All of TII’s AI models released to date have consistently ranked in the top tier globally as the most powerful open-source LLMs. The new scaled-down and versatile Falcon 2 11B models are set to give TII greater market adoption in the ever-evolving world of generative AI.

Falcon 2 11B models, equipped with multilingual capabilities, tackle tasks in English, French, Spanish, German, Portuguese, and other languages, enriching their versatility and magnifying their effectiveness across diverse scenarios. Falcon 2 11B VLM, a vision-to-language model, has the capability to identify and interpret images and visuals from the environment, providing a wide range of applications across industries such as healthcare, finance, e-commerce, education and legal sectors. These applications range from document management, digital archiving and context indexing to supporting individuals with visual impairments. These models can also run efficiently on just one graphics processing unit (GPU), making them highly scalable and easy to deploy and integrate into lighter infrastructures like laptops and other devices.

Faisal Al Bannai, Secretary General of the Advanced Technology Research Council, said: "With the release of Falcon 2 11B, we've introduced the first model in the Falcon 2 series. While Falcon 2 11B has demonstrated outstanding performance, we reaffirm our commitment to the open-source movement and to the Falcon Foundation. With other multimodal models soon coming to the market in various sizes, our aim is to ensure that developers and entities that value their privacy have access one of the best AI models to enable their AI journey."

Dr Hakim Hacid, Executive Director and Acting Chief Researcher of the AI Cross-Centre Unit at Technology Innovation Institute, said: “AI is continually evolving, and developers are recognising the myriad benefits of smaller, more efficient models. In addition to reducing computing power requirements and meeting sustainability criteria, these models offer enhanced flexibility, seamlessly integrating into edge AI infrastructure, the next emerging megatrend. Furthermore, the vision-to-language capabilities of Falcon 2 open new horizons for accessibility in AI, empowering users with transformative image-to-text interactions.”

The versatility of Falcon 2 11B has also led TII to consider working on more GenAI innovations. Among these will be adopting a new type of machine learning capability known as the Mixture of Experts. This method involves amalgamating smaller networks with distinct specialisations, ensuring that the most knowledgeable domains collaborate to deliver highly sophisticated and customised responses. This approach improves accuracy and accelerates decision-making, paving the way for more intelligent and efficient AI systems.

Falcon 2 11B is licenced under TII Falcon License 2.0, the permissive Apache 2.0-based software license which includes an acceptable use policy that promotes the responsible use of AI.

Source: Aletihad - Abu Dhabi
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