AI: The PyTorch Foundation is born

The integrated deep learning framework carried by Facebook now becomes a project managed under the aegis of the Linux Foundation. Besides Meta, we find its board of directors of other players including Amazon, AMD, Google and Nvidia.

Historically supported by Facebook (aka Meta), PyTorch is a framework used to perform calculations for deep learning. Artificial intelligence developers and researchers use this framework to design applications related in particular to natural language processing, automated translation, etc. As you are never better served than by yourself, Facebook uses it to elsewhere to process more than 6 billion translations daily. It is not the only one since among the companies using this framework, we also find Airbnb, Microsoft, Toyota Research Institute… The social network has just announced a major change in its management and development by entrusting its supervision to the Linux Foundation. “The new PyTorch Foundation Board will include many AI leaders who have helped bring the community to where it is today, including Meta and our partners at AMD, Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Nvidia. “Explained Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta. According to Facebook, placing PyTorch within its own foundation ensures that decisions will be made transparently and openly by a diverse group of board members for many years to come.

The birth of the PyTorch foundation is accompanied by another governance around AMD, AWS, Google Cloud, Meta, Microsoft and Nvidia. “This model aligns with where PyTorch is right now and what it needs going forward,” noted Soumith Chintala, PyTorch maintainer and AI researcher at Meta. One of the main goals of the framework will be to maintain a clear separation between business and technical development of PyTorch. “PyTorch has become one of the leading AI platforms with over 150,000 projects on GitHub built on the framework,” Zuckerberg said. It experienced rapid growth in 2018, in 2019 becoming the preferred framework for the IEEE Annual Scientific Conference in Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR) International Conference on Representations in Learning (ICLR) . In terms of fame, PyTorch faces competition from TensorFlow, the other big open source AI framework pushed by Google and released under the Apache 2.0 license, while PyTorch is under BSD-3.

Towards formalized and structured technical governance

“The foundation will strive to adhere to four principles: to remain open, to maintain a neutral brand image, to remain fair and to forge a strong technical identity”, notes Soumith Chintala who admitted that the governance of PyTorch since its creation in 2017 had hitherto been unstructured. By integrating a foundation, the AI ​​framework opens up a development opportunity. “Technical governance was neither formalized nor codified,” continues Soumith Chintala. “If PyTorch evolves as a community, the next step is to structure and codify. PyTorch’s technical governance now supports a line manager structure and a clear description of processes regarding day-to-day work and evolutions. It doesn’t change the way we handle things, but it does add a discipline and openness that, on our scale, feels essential and timely.”

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