It was only a matter of time before text-generating AI became as open and free as graphics AI. The first such is here now and ‘live’, OpenChatKit…

“a ChatGPT-like dialogue language model that is fully open-sourced, with full access to code, model weights, and training data. The released OpenChatKit model can perform natural-language reasoning tasks, answer questions about documents with retrieval, and browse the Web much like BingChat. The model has 20 billion parameters and is trained on 43 million instructions. […] The release also comes with fine-tuning guides that allow users to easily fine-tune the model for their own applications. […] Apache-2.0 license.”

20 billion is not enough for complex tasks (it can’t write long working Python scripts, or pop out complete essays/stories), but it’s good enough to be useful so long as you know how to ask the question. For instance…

Show me an example of the use of taskkill in a Windows batch file

… gets a line of valid working code. Though you still need to know to wrap it in @echo off and exit, and then save as a .BAT file.

But this is just the starting release. The initial live/free public demo is here, if you want to see what arcane Lovecraftian blurblings it might produce if given the correct prompt. It’s fast and easy to use. Though obviously knows nothing about R’lyeh as a holiday destination. Pity.

I’m uncertain if it can be operated purely locally on a desktop PC, being open source. (Update: Yes it can, it now has a downloadable “7B” model). If not then such things can only a matter of time and the right slot-in card.

So far, this is the only genuinely free / public and ‘no sign-up’ text-generating AI I know of.

Meanwhile, Grammarly will reportedly be plugging in AI auto-writing assistants sometime in April 2023. For a price, of course.