The Californian startup Open AI faces competition from Heidelberg: In a comparison, Aleph Alpha demonstrated that the chatbot performs just as well – and is more efficient.

Aleph Alpha founder Jonas Andrulis wants to compete with his language assistant Luminous Chat GPT.
Aleph Alpha

In a standardized performance comparison with its Luminous AI language model, the Baden-Württemberg startup Aleph Alpha did just as well as the previously leading AI specialist Open AI or the model of the Facebook group Meta. The founders of Aleph Alpha carried out the scientific comparison using the neutral test procedure “Evaluation Harness” from the open research and developer community Eleuther AI. They pitted their Luminous model against the open AI language model GPT, the version of Meta, and the open language model Bloom. The intelligent systems had to solve tasks for classifying, evaluating and creating texts, as well as answering questions about specific text content, Aleph Alpha announced on Monday.

With Luminous, for the first time, a European AI language model has landed on a par with the American tech giants, explained Jonas Andrulis, founder and CEO of Aleph Alpha. You have not only reached the level of performance, but have also been much more efficient. Compared to the competition, Luminous has about half as many (70 billion) parameters and is therefore twice as efficient at the same level of performance. “Luminous is a strong alternative in many environments and thus an important step towards Europe’s technological sovereignty,” emphasized Andrulis.

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Open AI has been in the headlines for weeks with its text robot Chat GPT because many millions of users can try out the AI ​​application. The Californian startup is extensively supported by Microsoft. At the beginning of February, the software group announced that it would integrate Chat GPT into its own search engine Bing in order to compete with market leader Google. Google itself wants to counter with its own AI language models.

Aleph Alpha addresses businesses and the public sector

The Heidelberg startup Aleph Alpha, on the other hand, does not offer a mass product for private consumers, also because it cannot afford to process millions of inquiries every day. Experts assume that each request to Chat GPT costs around five cents in computing power. Large sums of money quickly accumulate, which Microsoft pays for Open AI.

In any case, it is part of the company founder Andruli’s strategy to concentrate on solutions for companies or public administration. In October 2022, for example, the “Lumi” citizen assistant, which is based on Luminous, went into operation for the city of Heidelberg. The system is able to respond to very individual, non-preprogrammed questions from citizens. In this way, the information can also be made accessible to people who used to have problems communicating with authorities due to poor spelling or other language problems.

About the methodology: Aleph Alpha used the neutral test method “Evaluation Harness” from the open scientific and developer community EleutherAI for the comparison test. The Luminous model from Heidelberg competed against the OpenAI language model GPT (Davinci version), against the AI ​​model from the Facebook group Meta and against the open language model Bloom.

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