Content-type: text/html ~ Stephen's Web ~ Toward a Definition of Open Source AI

Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

Just a quick update from David Wiley on the Open Source Initiative (OSI) attempt to own, er, I mean, steward, the definition of 'open source AI'. Wiley notes "The definition is currently in its eighth draft, with the goal of finalizing the definition by October, 2024." Why am I so sceptical of the OSI initiative? Well, the first sentence contains the phrase "massive benefits accrue" and everything else is based on this, as though there would be no point to open AI if it didn't make money. Yet (ironically) there's no requirement in the four freedoms (use, study, modify, share) that these benefits be distributed equitably, or that they not deprive one of any existing freedom, or cause no harm in their application. Moreover, 'open source AI' is "made available", and not (say) developed openly, or developed by a community; it's as though it's some sort of creation that comes down from on high. Defining 'open' economically, and then cleaving it from social justice and any sort of community-based process, is the sort of 'open' we might find in Silicon Valley, but not really one we want in our own communities.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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Last Updated: Jun 13, 2024 03:20 a.m.

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