Meta has decided to charge major cloud computing businesses for its artificial intelligence (AI) model, Llama 2, despite previously saying that the technology would be an open-source tool available for anybody.

Large cloud-computing companies, including Microsoft and Alphabet, will need to pay a fee as they will essentially be reselling Meta’s services, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said on the company earning call this week (26 July).

“If you’re someone like Microsoft, Amazon or Google, and you’re going to basically be reselling the services, that’s something that we think we should get some portion of the revenue for,” Zuckerberg said.

“I don’t think that that’s going to be a large amount of revenue in the near-term, but over the long term, hopefully that can be something, ” he added .

Meta also said that companies with over 700 million monthly active users must request a license to use Llama 2.

Llama 2, Meta’s large language model (LLM), collects and stores users’ information to train its algorithm.

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The company had initially launched Llama 2 as an open-source product, partnering with Microsoft and Amazon to make the AI model available for commercial purposes on its cloud offerings.

On 18 July, 2023, Meta announced Llama 2 would be available in the Azure AI model catalogue, on Windows and through Amazon Web Services (AWS) as well as other providers.

Since then, Alibaba’s cloud computer division announced it had launched “the first training and deployment solution for the entire Llama2 series in China welcoming all developers to create customised large models on Alibaba Cloud,” Reuters reported.

Zuckerberg emphasised that Llama 2 would remain open but added that Meta would require major cloud companies to make a business arrangement with the company to use the model.