ColossalChat is here, Open Source’s first major AI chatbot

ColossalChat is Open Source’s first answer to the AI wars, will it be a success or failure?

ChatGPT is the cool kid right now in the AI Wars but that doesn’t mean it is without competition. Just at MasterWP, we’ve covered similar AI services by Microsoft and Google. We’ve also looked at services like Character.AI and looked at the ethical implications of what they all mean for us today. What seeks to be the newest challenger to ChatGPT, is also the first open source opponent as well. Meet ColossalChat. 

What makes ColossalChat different?

ColossalChat has arrived at an opportune time. This new and free alternative is now available for immediate use. Although ChatGPT remains the premier AI chatbot, it can often hit capacity and become unavailable. This has given a lot of competitors time to swoop in and fill that void.  ColossalChat is also open and accessible to everyone right now. You don’t even have to sign up or enter any personal information for it to get started. The caveat to this is that you cannot go back and review your conversations at a later time. (Not to my current knowledge at least).

ColossalChat uses an RHLF pipeline similar to OpenAI’s GPT-4 model, which powers ChatGPT. This new chatbot has the ability to write code, respond intelligently to requests, and also have conversations with you.

ColossalChat’s Coati large language model is based on Large Language Model Meta AI or LLaMA, Meta’s open-source large language model, then refined to respond in a way that is more like ChatGPT. According to Yang You, one of ColossalChat’s developers, this new chatbot is “the closest project to the original technical route of ChatGPT.”

RHLF is an essential feature of ColossalChat and ChatGPT. It means reinforcement learning from human feedback, similar to how animals are taught to perform tricks. When the AI response is appropriate, it’s rewarded, which helps the network understand human preferences.

Will ColossalChat overtake ChatGPT?

While ColossalChat may not surpass ChatGPT in breadth or capabilities, or in popularity, it’s good to have alternatives, especially when ChatGPT hits capacity. It’s too soon to know if ColossalChat is comparable to ChatGPT’s latest release, which used GPT-3.5 and could only process text. OpenAI’s latest update brings multimodal input, allowing images to be uploaded to help visually inform the chatbot about what you are trying to do or the question you are asking.

I think it’s great that there is an open-source alternative to ChatGPT. I hope this also encourages more open source variations to pop up. I’ve written before about how I think open source is the key to less biased AI but as with everything, it’s not the only solution. I want to give ColossalChat a little bit more time before I compare it to the bigger named ones that are out. One thing I can say though is that the game is changing in AI and maybe for once that’s a good thing.