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Jais a bilingual Arabic-English AI model: A 13 Billion Parameter Language Model
08/09/2023

The Arabic language, with its nearly equal number of native speakers to North Americans and an official status at the United Nations, holds profound global importance. Yet, in the digital realm, it remains surprisingly underrepresented, accounting for less than 1 percent of online content. This stark contrast between its offline prevalence and digital scarcity is set to undergo a transformative shift, courtesy of generative AI. At the forefront of this revolution is Jais, an open-source bilingual Arabic-English large language model (LLM).

Introducing Jais: A 13 Billion Parameter Arabic Language Model

On Aug 30, a remarkable stride in advancing Arabic language AI capabilities was taken. A group of talented engineers, researchers, and a Silicon Valley-based chip company joined forces to unveil Jais, an open-source Arabic language AI model boasting a staggering 13 billion parameters. This monumental achievement marks a significant leap in the development of the Arabic language AI ecosystem, with the potential to power generative AI applications.

The Collaborative Effort behind Jais

The birth of Jais is the result of a collaborative endeavor that brought together academics, engineers, and cutting-edge technology companies. This cooperation aimed to address a pressing issue in AI - the scarcity of large bilingual language models. Jais, named after the highest peak in the United Arab Emirates, stands as a testament to the power of collaboration between Cerebras Systems, Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence, and Inception, a subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi-based tech conglomerate G42 that specializes in AI.

Leveraging Code to Enhance Reasoning Abilities

A remarkable aspect of Jais' development is its innovative approach to overcome the challenge of limited Arabic data for training a model of this magnitude. To compensate, the model was trained on a combination of Arabic and English data, including a portion of computer code. According to Timothy Baldwin, a professor at Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence, this inclusion of code significantly enhanced Jais' reasoning abilities by spelling out logical steps required for problem-solving.

Jais Goes Open Source: A Game-Changer for AI Development

In a groundbreaking move poised to reshape the AI development landscape, Jais will be made available to the global AI community through an open-source license. This decision reflects a commitment to foster collaboration and innovation within the AI community, empowering developers worldwide to harness the potential of Jais for diverse applications.

The Technical Feat Behind Jais' Rapid Training

Behind the scenes, the development of Jais represents an extraordinary technical achievement. The team responsible for its creation harnessed supercomputers provided by Cerebras Systems, a Silicon Valley-based company renowned for designing chips that rival Nvidia's powerful AI hardware. With Nvidia's chips facing shortages, companies worldwide have sought alternatives, making the collaboration with Cerebras Systems even more pivotal. This partnership enabled the rapid training of Jais, encompassing a staggering 13 billion parameters, completed in just three and a half days.

Cerebras CEO Andrew Feldman emphasized the impressive feat, stating, "This model was trained, from start to finish, of 13 billion parameters, in three and a half days. But there was months of work before that."

Looking Ahead: The Future of Arabic Language AI Models

The introduction of Jais signifies a significant milestone in the evolution of Arabic language AI models. Its availability as an open-source resource is poised to ignite further research and innovation in the realm of Arabic language processing. This, in turn, opens doors to a myriad of applications across diverse industries.

In conclusion, Jais embodies a remarkable achievement in the domain of Arabic language AI models. Its collaborative development, the ingenious inclusion of code for enhanced reasoning, and the commitment to open-source accessibility are all testaments to the dedication of those involved. As the AI community embraces Jais, we can anticipate exciting advancements in the field and a brighter future for the Arabic language in the era of generative AI.

The Promise of Jais in Transforming Arabic Language Presence

The significance of the Arabic language in the world is undeniable, yet its limited presence in the digital realm has long been a challenge. However, with the advent of Jais, an open-source bilingual Arabic-English large language model, the future looks promising. Jais not only boasts an impressive 13 billion parameters but also the unique ability to operate in multiple Arabic dialects.

As generative AI technology continues to evolve, Jais stands as a game-changer for the Arabic language. Its potential to bridge the gap between offline prevalence and online scarcity has the power to strengthen translation services, enhance the Arabic education sector, and drive digital adoption across the Arab world. Challenges persist, notably the limited online Arabic training data, but the dedicated team behind Jais is spearheading initiatives to overcome this obstacle.

The journey ahead is arduous, but if Jais can fulfill its potential, it promises to transform the Arab world and ensure the enduring relevance of one of humanity's great ancient languages in the digital age.

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