Meta Releases Llama2, Trick or Treat?

In a move that has turned heads in the world of AI, Meta has recently unveiled its latest innovation: Llama2. This novel model, a commercial successor to the open-source Llama, is an answer to pricey proprietary models by giants like OpenAI and Google. Meta's offering, however, comes with a twist—it's free of charge for businesses.

Llama2 introduction
Photo Illustration by Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

What's New with Llama2?

Detailed in a technical paper that spans 76 pages, Llama2 boasts more data training and a larger number of parameters than its predecessor. It has doubled the context length and shown substantial performance improvements over the original Llama in benchmark comparisons.

Llama2 was trained using a mix of publicly available data, focusing on the most factual sources, and underwent extensive reinforcement learning with human feedback. Interestingly, the model was optimized using two separate reward models—one for helpfulness and another for safety.

Llama2 introduction
Info As Stated By Meta

The Balancing Act: Helpfulness vs Safety

But is it all sunshine and rainbows with Llama2? Meta's paper reveals a fascinating trade-off. As the model received more safety training, it improved its ability to provide safe responses, but its helpfulness score declined, indicating a challenging balancing act between helpfulness and safety.

Llama2's Performance and Limitations

While Llama2 is comparable with ChatGPT on human evaluations, the limitations of such evaluations are evident. It has shown a decline in performance with languages other than English. Llama2 was trained on Nvidia's A100s, leading to speculation that its successor, Llama3, may utilize the newer H-100s.

Open Source: A Boon or Bane?

The decision to release Llama2 as open-source has sparked diverse reactions. While several corporations have supported the move, critics haven't been silent. Meta, however, stands by its decision, citing transparency, democratization of technology, and the leveling of the playing field. Despite the risks of misuse, the company has worked to fine-tune the model to prevent abuse, directing users to their responsible use guide and reminding them that any illegal activity is against their terms and conditions.

The Future of Llama2

The future of Llama2 is shaping up to be exciting, with Meta encouraging community participation in further research and safety evaluations. There's even talk of Llama2 becoming widely available on phones and PCs, thanks to a collaboration between Meta and Microsoft. However, it appears that larger companies, with over 700 million monthly active users, might need special permission—and possibly have to pay—to use Llama2.

A Glimpse into Llama2's Capabilities

Despite the training data being shuffled without respect to chronological context, Llama2 has shown an ability to infer a general sense of time. It also offers sentiment analysis, with the paper revealing a slight preference for right-wing over left-wing sentiment.


As the dust settles on the unveiling of Llama2, the AI community watches with bated breath. Whether Llama2 proves to be a trick or treat depends on its real-world applications and impact. But one thing's for certain—the stage is set for an exciting new chapter in AI history.