Text: Mozilla Builders

Building open, private AI with the Mozilla Builders Accelerator

AI tools are more accessible than ever. Big tech companies have made this possible, but their focus on growth and monetization prioritizes large-scale products. This leaves smaller AI projects in the shadows, despite their potential to better serve individual needs.

That’s why we’re excited to introduce the Mozilla Builders Accelerator. This program is designed to empower independent AI and machine learning engineers with the resources and support they need to thrive. It aims to cultivate a more innovative AI ecosystem, and it’s one of Mozilla’s key initiatives to make AI meaningfully impactful — alongside efforts like Mozilla.ai, the Responsible AI Challenge and the Rise25 Awards.

The Mozilla Builders Accelerator’s inaugural theme is local AI, which involves running AI models and applications directly on personal devices like laptops, smartphones, or edge devices rather than depending on cloud-based services.

Up to $100,000 in funding 

Projects selected for the Mozilla Builders Accelerator are eligible to receive up to $100,000 in funding. We’re also creating an environment where independent developers can flourish. So in addition to financial backing, the Mozilla Builders Accelerator will offer mentorship, foster community engagement and provide increased visibility for projects. 

Participants will engage in a structured 12-week program focused on the design, build and test phases of their projects, followed by an alumni phase for ongoing support. The program will include instructional sessions, guided workshops and practical assignments. Additionally, there will be opportunities to showcase projects through Mozilla’s channels and events, culminating in a demo day.

Why local AI?

We chose Local AI as the theme for the Accelerator’s first cohort because it aligns with our core values of privacy, user empowerment, and open source innovation. This method offers several benefits including:

  • Privacy: Data stays on the local device, minimizing exposure to potential breaches and misuse.
  • Agency: Users have greater control over their AI tools and data.
  • Cost-effectiveness: Reduces reliance on expensive cloud infrastructure, lowering costs for developers and users.
  • Reliability: Local processing ensures continuous operation even without internet connectivity.

Mozilla’s commitment to open source and AI innovation

For over 25 years, Mozilla has championed the internet as a global public resource — open and accessible to everyone. This dedication has fostered a thriving community committed to innovation and collaboration. We believe the future of AI should be open, transparent and inclusive.

With initiatives like Mozilla.ai and Llamafile, we’ve made significant strides in advancing open source AI. The Mozilla Builders Accelerator is our next step in this journey. 

We invite AI and ML engineers dedicated to open source and local AI solutions to apply for the Mozilla Builders Accelerator. Join us in shaping the future of AI with openness and innovation at its core. Applications are open through Aug. 1, 2024. For more information and to apply, visit here.

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