Microsoft Launches Cost-Effective Lightweight AI Model, Phi-3-mini

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Microsoft has introduced a new lightweight artificial intelligence model called Phi-3-mini, aimed at expanding its client base with more cost-effective options. This model is the first of three small language models (SLMs) to be released by the company, representing a strategic move towards technology that is expected to revolutionize various industries. According to Sébastien Bubeck, Microsoft’s vice president of GenAI research, Phi-3-mini offers a significant cost advantage compared to similar models, making it ten times cheaper.

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Engineers at Columbia University’s Creative Machines Lab see this development as a major step forward in enhancing the quality of interaction and trust between humans and robots. SLMs like Phi-3-mini are designed for simpler tasks, making them accessible to companies with limited resources.

Microsoft has made Phi-3-mini immediately available on its Azure cloud service platform, as well as on other platforms like Hugging Face and Ollama. Additionally, the model has been optimized for Nvidia’s software tool Nvidia Inference Microservices (NIM) and its graphics processing units (GPUs).

This announcement comes on the heels of Microsoft’s recent $1.5 billion investment in UAE-based AI firm G42. The company has also collaborated with French startup Mistral AI to offer their models through its Azure cloud computing platform in the past.


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