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Was data lakehouse platform Databricks becoming an OpenAI rival on anyone’s 2023 bingo card? Well, hello, Dolly.

Today, in an effort the company says is meant to build on their longtime mission to democratize AI for the enterprise, Databricks released the code for an open-source large language model (LLM) called Dolly — named after Dolly the sheep, the first cloned mammal — that it said companies can use to create instruction-following chatbots similar to ChatGPT.

The model can be trained, the company explained in a blog post, on very little data and in very little time. “With 30 bucks, one server and three hours, we’re able to teach [Dolly] to start doing human-level interactivity,” said Databricks CEO Ali Ghodsi.

There are many reasons a company would prefer to build their own LLM model rather than sending data to a centralized LLM provider that serves a proprietary model behind an API, the blog post explained. Handing sensitive data over to a third party may not be an option, while organizations may have specific needs as far as model quality, cost and desired behavior.


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