Foundation series

Meta transfers ownership of PyTorch to Linux Foundation in an effort to improve transparency

Meta announced that PyTorch, its open source framework for machine learning, will become part of the Linux Foundation and reorganize under a new PyTorch Foundation.

The move, which comes after Meta (formerly Facebook)’s six-year control over PyTorch, is part of a move to emphasize the neutrality of PyTorch, which has become a key tool to use in the development of the intelligence (AI) and the acceleration of deep learning.

Since its launch in 2016, more than 18,000 organizations have used Pytorch for machine learning (ML) in production environments, as well as for conducting research in academia. Notable real-world examples of PyTorch include Tesla’s Autopilot system, as well as the popular Python Hugging Face Transformers library, which provides users with pre-trained models for voice, text, and image recognition.

“The creation of the PyTorch Foundation ensures that decisions will be made transparently and openly by a diverse group of board members for many years to come,” Meta said in a blog post.

The Linux Foundation is a global non-profit consortium for the technology industry, aimed at fostering the development and preservation of open source software. On its website, the foundation states that its goal is to “democratize the adoption of code and scale, for all projects equally”, and to “strive to create new categories of technologies by identifying new trends and accelerating the growth of emerging technologies by removing barriers to adoption.”

Dr. Ibrahim Haddad, the Linux Foundation’s Vice President of Strategic Programs, will serve as the executive director of the PyTorch Foundation, and the PyTorch Foundation’s board of directors is expected to include a range of tech industry representatives. Founding members AMD, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud, Meta, Microsoft Azure and NVIDIA were named in the announcement.

In May, the Linux Foundation announced its “The World of Open Source” research series, with the aim of deepening understanding of the scale of open source in the international public sector arena, as well as to investigate the general state of open source in Europe. The results of the survey are expected to be announced at the Open Source Summit Europe, currently taking place in Dublin.

Meta announced a partnership with AWS last year to expand its AI offerings and improve the ML models used to train Pytorch. Together, the companies aim to provide enterprises with the training and deployment of deep learning models at scale, such as large language models and automatic handwriting recognition.

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“The growth around AI/ML and deep learning has been nothing short of extraordinary, and community adoption of PyTorch has led to it becoming one of five open source software projects to fastest growing in the world,” said Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation.

“Bringing PyTorch to the Linux Foundation, where its global community will continue to thrive, is a true honor. We are grateful to the team at Meta – where PyTorch was incubated and developed into a massive ecosystem – for trusting the Linux Foundation for this crucial effort.

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