Mistral AI CEO commits to open-source despite Microsoft deal

Mistral AI’s multiyear partnership with Microsoft has sparked doubts over the AI startup’s open-source future. 

February 29, 2024 04:52 pm | Updated 04:52 pm IST

FILE PHOTO: Mistral AI CEO and co-founder Arthur Mensch has addressed speculation around whether the company will stick to the open-source.

FILE PHOTO: Mistral AI CEO and co-founder Arthur Mensch has addressed speculation around whether the company will stick to the open-source. | Photo Credit: Reuters

Mistral AI CEO and co-founder Arthur Mensch has addressed speculation around whether the company will stick to the open-source plan on microblogging platform X on Wednesday.

Mensch said that the nine-month-old French AI startup is “still committed to leading open-weight models.” A couple of days ago, Mistral announced a multiyear partnership with Microsoft that sparked doubts about the AI startup’s open-source future.

Mensch called out the chatter as “creative interpretations” while also clarifying some details. “Microsoft has invested in a small convertible note alongside many other companies as a distribution partner,” he noted.

He also admitted that his firm is an “independent European company” despite its global ambitions, and noted that this was unlikely to change. 

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The Financial Times had reported that Microsoft had made a 15 million euro ($16 million) investment in Mistral and would also make the company’s AI models available on their Azure cloud computing platform. The deal will allow the Paris-based company to explore more commercial opportunities. 

Microsoft’s investment comes a little over an year after its $10 billion funding in ChatGPT-maker OpenAI. 

The European Union is already scrutinising the deal warning that it could be a breach of EU competition rules and a concentration of power by Microsoft. 

Mistral also announced a new AI model on Tuesday, called Mistral Large, which wasn’t open source unlike its previous models. 

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