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Microsoft unveils advanced AI small enough to run on mobile phones

Microsoft unveils advanced AI small enough to run on mobile phones


Many artificial intelligence tools require Internet connectivity to large computing data centers to work. But on Tuesday, Microsoft announced a new AI designed for phones and PCs that doesn't need to do that and is cheaper.

The company says its new AI, called Phi-3 mini, could rival popular web-based AIs like OpenAI's ChatGPT-3.5. Microsoft told Reuters its new AI can compete with other AIs that cost 10 times more to power and run.

“Phi-3 is not just slightly cheaper, it's dramatically cheaper,” Sébastien Bubeck, vice president of GenAI research at Microsoft, told Reuters.

Microsoft's efforts to build more efficient AI are part of a trend in the tech industry to pack the power of chatbots like ChatGPT, Meta's Llama, and Google's Gemini into small apps that run on computers and mobile phones. This is the department.

The year of AI PC

Until now, most AI has instead relied on vast power-hungry server farms powered by chips from Nvidia, the darling of the AI ​​industry. These AIs will continue to deliver more capabilities and faster than ever before, but tech companies are also increasingly looking to build powerful, smaller AIs.

Meta, the parent company of Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram, last week announced a version of its Llama text chat AI that can run over the internet or on mobile devices using specialized chips such as those made by Qualcomm. Last year, Google also announced Gemini Nano AI, an addition to its Pixel smartphone product line. AMD, Intel, and Nvidia have also announced efforts to incorporate additional AI capabilities into their chips.

Even Apple reportedly plans to announce AI capabilities designed to run on iPhones, iPads, and Mac computers at its Worldwide Developers Conference in June.

(For CNET's hands-on reviews of generative AI products like Gemini, Claude, ChatGPT, and Microsoft Copilot, as well as AI news, tips, and explanations, check out our new AI Atlas resource page.)

Microsoft and its many partners are rushing to add AI capabilities to software and devices, calling 2024 the year of the AI ​​PC. Microsoft officially changed its PC keyboard for the first time in 30 years, adding a dedicated key for his Copilot AI opposite the Windows key it added in 1994.

It's unclear how Microsoft's Phi-3 mini will show up in our daily lives, but in a conversation with The Verge, the company said it will help companies that don't have the computing power to run more advanced AI. We speculate that it could be useful for enhancing custom apps.

Editor's note: CNET used an AI engine to create dozens of stories and label them accordingly. The notes you are reading are attached to articles that substantively cover the topic of AI, all written by professional editors and writers. Please see our AI Policy for more information.




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