LF AI Foundation (LF AI), the organization building an ecosystem to enable and sustain open source innovation in artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and deep learning (DL), and ODPi, a nonprofit organization accelerating the open ecosystem of big data solutions, today announced they will come together under the new LF AI & Data Foundation. The LF AI & Data Foundation will build and support an open community and a growing ecosystem of open source AI, data and analytics projects, by accelerating development and innovation, enabling collaboration and the creation of new opportunities for all the members of the community.
As one entity under the Linux Foundation, this consolidated and focused effort will enable additional collaboration and integration in the space of AI/ML/DL and Data. With the creation of LF AI & Data, both communities will now support a growing ecosystem of artificial intelligence, machine learning, deep learning and data technologies. AI and Data are inseparable and codependent on each other. Combining efforts in both spaces will bring developers and projects under a single roof, orchestrated by a single Technical Advisory Council and several committees (Trusted AI, BI & AI), to work together towards building the open source AI & Data ecosystem and accelerating development and innovation. Hosting projects under a single umbrella enables closer collaboration, integration, and interoperability across projects and is a proven recipe for building strong open ecosystems. At the same time, it will provide a unified guidance for end users on tools, interoperability, integration, standards, and the future of AI, Data and Analytics as its use continues to grow in every industry. Furthermore, as member driven organizations, joining forces under LF AI & Data will allow greater efficiency for members across the various services we offer to our hosted projects.
“LF AI has been growing at the rate of one new project per month, including several data projects. It is a natural move to bring together the open AI and data communities to enable better interoperability and capabilities across all of our hosted projects and to enable closer collaboration, which has been a proven recipe for building a strong open ecosystem. It will also provide our members greater cost efficiency when supporting our projects,” said Dr. Ibrahim Haddad, LF AI Executive Director. “We look forward to supporting innovation in the open source ecosystem focused on AI, Data and Analytics.”
“Over the past 5 years, ODPi has been a part of driving standardization and consolidation in the Big Data and Hadoop ecosystem, as well as becoming a focal point for the data challenges of the enterprises of today such as metadata, governance, and data science,” said John Mertic, Director, ODPi. “Coming together to form LF AI & Data is the next natural step in this mission, enabling greater interoperability to drive both innovation and sustainable growth for key projects.”
ODPi and its projects Egeria and OpenDS4All will become hosted projects under the LF AI & Data Foundation, with BI and AI becoming a committee within the foundation. They will maintain their current open technical governance model, establish collaboration with other hosted projects in LF AI & Data via the efforts of the its Technical Advisory Council, and benefit from a host of services offered to facilitate collaboration and increased adoption.
Charles “Starlord” Xie, Chairperson, LF AI Governing Board, said: “Today’s announcement of LF AI & Data is very exciting news for the open source AI ecosystem. LF AI & Data brings together companies, projects and communities focusing on AI and Data under a single organization to foster collaboration and integration across projects. We look forward to the months and years to come as we anticipate significant growth in our project portfolio and the development of many collaboration opportunities.”
Key open source projects
Craig Rubendall, Chairperson, ODPi, said: “The ODPi Board of Directors and technical community are excited to come together with LF AI to form LF AI & Data. This joint foundation will enable the key open source projects our industry depends on to have a sustainable home, which will drive further innovation and collaboration.”
Jim Spohrer, Director, IBM Center for Open Source Data and AI Technologies and LF AI Technical Advisory Council Chairperson, said: “If you are committed to advancing open source AI and data as an industry-standard infrastructure and democratizing access to AI, there is a great opportunity to contribute within the community. Join our bi-weekly TAC meetings and connect with us on the LFAI slack channel.”
LF AI launched two years ago with nine founding members and one hosted project, and today has 25 members and 20 technical projects. ODPi launched five years ago, and is supported by a strong roster of industry-leading members. Together, under the LF AI & Data Foundation, there are 22 projects supported by more than 60 companies, 20 universities and more than 1,300 active developers contributing to these projects.
New members of LF AI & Data Foundation include aivancity School for Technology, Business & Society, AlphaBravo, Cloudera, Databricks, Index Analytics, ING Bank, OpenI, Precisely, Peng Cheng Laboratory, SAS Institute, and the Shanghai OpenSource Information Technology Association.