OpenAI’s ChatGPT has had developers talking ever since it opened to the public last month. It is a chatbot that can do all sorts of amazing tasks: suggest code, convert code from one language to another, summarizing long text, answering questions, and so much more. 

Now, a new open-source project has sprung up to provide an open-source alternative: Open Assistant. 

“We are not going to stop at replicating ChatGPT. We want to build the assistant of the future, able to not only write email and cover letters, but do meaningful work, use APIs, dynamically research information, and much more, with the ability to be personalized and extended by anyone. And we want to do this in a way that is open and accessible, which means we must not only build a great assistant, but also make it small and efficient enough to run on consumer hardware,” the project maintainers wrote on its GitHub page.

The goal of Open Assistant is to provide a large language model that is chat based. The maintainers believe that with this project they can improve language itself, similar to how stable diffusion allowed new art and images to be created.  

It was created under the umbrella of LAION, which is a non-profit focused on “liberating machine learning research.” 

Open Assistant is largely built in Python and TypeScript and the maintainers say there are plenty of issues that need to be addressed that new contributors can come in and take on.

“All open source projects begin with people like you. Open source is the belief that if we collaborate we can together gift our knowledge and technology to the world for the benefit of humanity,” the maintainers wrote.