Robin Li: Open-sourcing large models has limited value – Baidu respects devs

Robin Li: Open Sourcing Large Models Has Limited Value; Baidu Respects Developers

On the evening of April 11th, in a recent internal speech, regarding the issue of open-sourcing the Wenxin large model, Robin Li mentioned that a year ago, when Wenxin was just released, we had intense internal discussions. Eventually, everyone knows the result: our decision was not to open-source it. Why not? The judgment at that time was that there would definitely be open-source models in the market, and more than one company would open-source them. In this case, it’s not much for Baidu to open-source if many others do, and it’s not less for Baidu to open-source if others do not.

Robin Li

Robin Li also stated that closed-source models will continue to lead in capabilities, rather than just leading temporarily. Open-sourcing models is not a situation where “many hands make light work,” unlike traditional software open-sourcing such as Linux and Android. Closed-source models have a genuine business model, can make money, and only by making money can they gather computing power and talents. In terms of cost, closed-source actually has an advantage. Given the same capabilities, the inference cost of closed-source models will definitely be lower, and the response speed will definitely be faster.

Furthermore, addressing the accusation of “snatching jobs” from users of Wenxin due to plagiarism, Robin Li responded that there is no basis for this claim. “Pinduoduo and Didi are not afraid of WeChat snatching their jobs. Their rise relies on WeChat as a closed platform in the mobile ecosystem, but they each provide unique value and have different competitive strengths,” Robin Li said. (Daily Economic News)

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