The Open Source Summit Europe is a conference organized by the Linux Foundation with the goal of bringing together Open Source developers, technologists and community leaders to collaborate, share information, solve problems and gain knowledge. Last week, the Open Source Initiative (OSI) was present at this event, driving three key efforts: 1) the Open Source AI discussion; 2) the launch of Opensource.net; and 3) the future of ClearlyDefined.
The Open Source AI discussion
Open Source AI has been a hot topic since the beginning of the year, but there’s no clear definition of what’s actually “Open Source AI”. To address this question, the OSI has created an open process gathering opinions and comments from individual developers, lawyers, researchers, non-profit organizations, companies and government officials developing and using AI systems. As part of this open process, the OSI is organizing a series of events, both online and in-person. Having a presence at the Open Source Summit Europe was important to gather the perspectives from different stakeholders, particularly from the European community.
Our first activity was at the LLM Avalanche Bilbao event that happened prior to the main conference. This event was a follow-up from the very successful LLM Avalanche San Francisco that took place in the Bay area in June. The OSI presented an overview of the recent discussions and got some important feedback from the audience, among which a suggestion for the OSI to participate in other events tailored for AI researchers and scientists.
As part of the keynotes at the main conference, “Open Source AI” was a big focus, with many exciting announcements from the Linux Foundation, including the launch of the Generative AI Commons and the Unified Acceleration Foundation. Nithya Ruff, head of the AWS Open Source Programme Office (OSPO), also kindly highlighted the work from the OSI in this space at her keynote.
The launch of OpenSource.net
The OSI officially announced the launch of OpenSource.net at the Open Source Summit Bilbao. With the decision from Red Hat to halt the publication of new articles at Opensource.com, the community of authors that have gathered around this site for the past 12 years were at risk of disappearing. The OSI stepped in to provide this community with a neutral home where they can continue to share knowledge and engage with other members.
At the OSI’s booth, postcards from OpenSource.net were being distributed to attendees so they could be shared with friends. The launch was well received and new articles are expected to be published in the coming weeks. OpenSource.net welcomes new contributions under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International License.
The future of ClearlyDefined
Finally, the OSI also had important discussions about the future of ClearlyDefined, which aims to create a global database of licensing metadata for every Open Source software component ever published. Nick Vidal, community manager of ClearlyDefined, held productive conversations with Justin Colannino, OSI board member and assistant general counsel at Microsoft, and Thomas Steenbergen, co-founder of the ClearlyDefined and OSS Review Toolkit (ORT) projects.
ClearlyDefined is currently undergoing a process of adopting a more open governance model, where different stakeholders can have a say in the direction of the project. This process started at the first ORT Community Day held in Berlin about 6 months ago. Since then, new members have shown interest in being more involved with the ClearlyDefined community, in particular GitHub, who has recently added 17.5 million package licenses to their database. The hope is that by the end of the year a more open governance model will be established and soon after a new release of ClearlyDefined will be released with input from the community.
OSI’s participation at the Open Source Summit Europe was very important. The OSI was able to gather valuable feedback from the community around three efforts currently underway and further straighten the partnership with the Linux Foundation.
If you are interested in learning more about all of OSI’s programs, please check our website and get involved. The OSI is currently hosting a webinar series as part of the “Deep Dive: Defining Open Source AI”. In October, the OSI will host a special track at All Things Open including five sessions covering Open Source licenses, policy, security and a double session to draft a definition for “Open Source AI”.