Open Source Initiative Hits the Road to Define Open Source AI – The New Stack

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Building an open source infrastructure around generative AI is a bit like building a car while also driving it.

For the past two years, the Open Source Initiative (OSI) has been working to craft a definition of open source AI. Given the velocity of change, it’s no surprise that the organization is on the move — quite literally, taking its work on the road.

Starting this Friday in Pittsburgh at PyCon U.S., the Python community conference, OSI will start touring a “roadshow” of workshops to gather input.

The goal is to gather input on the draft definition of open source AI from diverse stakeholders over the next several months, to present a stable definition at the All Things Open conference in late October.

The roadshow, which will hit five continents by its scheduled wrap-up, is being sponsored by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, which supports research and education in technology and other sciences and humanities. Other sponsors of the project include Amazon, Cisco  andGoogle Open Source.

To date, OSI has sponsored several informational sessions and town halls, workshops and conference sessions to help craft the versions of the open source AI definition.

It reports that “53% of the working groups were composed of people of color. Women and femmes, including transgender women, accounted for 28% of the total and 63% of those individuals are women of color.”

The nature of AI demands wide participation in shaping its future in open source, according to Stefano Maffulli, executive director of the OSI.

In the announcement of the OSI roadshow project, Maffuli stated, “OSI believes that everybody deserves to maintain agency and control of the technology. We also recognize that markets flourish when clear definitions promote transparency, collaboration and permissionless innovation.”

Check out Stefano Maffulli’s conversation with Alex Williams, TNS publisher and co-founder, about open source and AI in this episode of The New Stack Makers, recorded at Open Source Summit Europe in 2023.

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