"We have no moat...": An allegedly leaked memo from Google drawing a striking case over the futility to out-race the open source community

Link: Google "We Have No Moat, And Neither Does OpenAI"

The AI researchers/engineers at Google are biting their nails to say the least… whilst they, like OpenAI, are attempting to maintain an edge over the AI market, they recognize that, in the face of the rapid innovations/improvements coming from the open source space, their own closed-source development patterns will not be sustainable.

A single person equipped with a beefy laptop, some small technical know-how, a hundred dollars in their bank account, and some hours to kill can fork/fine-tune a model that can perform JUST as good (if not slightly better) as any known large parameter model.

For a large enterprise that’s already poured millions of dollars into developing/training their own extremely large parameter models, this reality comes as a slap in the face.

There may however be a powerful lesson emerging: Let the people innovate on your behalf

In this regard, Google’s path to accelerating their own AI technology may actually be to work with the open source space so that they may utilize all the new innovations spawned from it.


Thanks for sharing, finally got the chance to read this. These points are key:

  • The value of owning the ecosystem cannot be overstated.
  • The more tightly we control our models, the more attractive we make open alternatives.

On the other hand, moat is also not just about the core tech, it comes in many forms including user experience, support, platform integrations, customizations, security, etc.

Ultimately, if you can offer features that combines a few of these and do it really well, customers will be more likely to pay, even with open source alternatives.


Also, I think these open-source alternatives are maybe overselling their capabilities. And we have no idea what any of these companies HAVEN’T released, yet.


But maybe the industry is shifting and releasing more? This article talks about OpenAI releasing an open source model in response to the Meta leak. ChatGPT creator OpenAI is releasing an open-source AI model: Report

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