BDVA member Tilde wins the Large AI Grand Challenge❗

We are proud to announce that BDVA Board of Directors member Andrejs Vasiļjevs represented Tilde at the award ceremony of the Large AI Grand Challenge❗ The European Commission announced four innovative AI start-ups from Europe will share the prize...

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We are proud to announce that BDVA Board of Directors member Andrejs Vasiļjevs represented Tilde at the award ceremony of the Large AI Grand Challenge❗ The European Commission announced four innovative AI start-ups from Europe will share the prize of €1 million and 8 million computational hours, advancing Europe’s leadership in AI development.

European Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton announced Tilde, a BDVA member and a leading European language technology company that Andrejs co-founded and is currently Executive Board Member, as one the winners of the Large AI Grand Challenge in a ceremony held at Berlaymont in Brussels. The award includes a € 250,000 monetary prize and 2 million GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) hours on the fastest supercomputer in Europe, LUMI, to develop a foundational Large Language Model (LLM) for European languages. Tilde will use these resources to address language inequality in Generative AI and advance linguistic inclusivity and technological access throughout the continent.

The purpose of the Large AI Grand Challenge, funded by the European Commission, is to expand European AI frontiers by harnessing the potential of large-scale AI models. The participants in the competition were innovative startups and SMEs with the technical capacity to develop AI models that boost Europe’s competitiveness in Generative AI.

Tilde participated in the competition with an ambition to create a novel large AI model that advances linguistic inclusivity in Europe. Currently, large AI models are trained predominantly on English and a few major global languages, leaving many European languages underrepresented and causing language inequality at the core of the models. Tilde aims to create a foundational multilingual LLM that represents European linguistic richness, with a particular focus on Eastern European and Baltic languages that are poorly covered in the current models. Tilde’s model will improve AI applications and Natural Language Processing tools for over 155 million Europeans. The high-parameter LLM by Tilde will support applications such as machine translation, text generation, summarisation, text classification, and many others. The project will follow open science principles and ethical data handling, making resources freely available to the research community and beyond.

The award is recognition of Tilde’s commitment to bringing state-of-the-art developments in AI to all linguistic communities of Europe. Our team of experienced researchers, engineers and linguists is thrilled to have the opportunity to exploit one of the most powerful supercomputers in the world to create a novel model from the massive data that we have collected,” says Artūrs Vasiļevskis, Tilde CEO.

The other three winners are Lingua Custodia (France), Unbabel (Portugal) and Textgain (Belgium).

All of the four start-ups will share a total prize of €1 million and an allocation of 8 million GPU hours on two of the world-leading EuroHPC JU supercomputers, LUMI and LEONARDO. The awarded supercomputing time will be essential for developing their large-scale AI models over the next 12 months and will enable them to reduce training times from years to weeks. Following this period, the winners are expected to release their developed models under an open-source license for non-commercial use or publish their research findings.

Tilde is a very active BDVA member and provides localisation services, develops custom machine translation systems and offers online terminology tools for a wide range of languages to enable multilingual communication for its customers.

Andrejs Vasiljevs, besides being one of the members of the Board of Directors, is also co-leading BDVA’s new Generative AI/Foundation models task force, which is set to provide an integrative view for all members and collaboration partners and to help advance the value creation of GenAI navigating the overall complexity of the many interlinked challenges and the rapid pace at which the area is moving.

We want to congratulate Andrejs and Tilde for this great achievement and we look forward to celebrating other great achievements of our community!

Find out more about Tilde’s participation in the competition!


More about the Large AI Grand Challenge

In November 2023, the Large AI Grand Challenge was launched  to foster European innovation and excellence in large-scale AI models.

The Large AI Grand Challenge is a collaboration led by the EU-funded project AI-BOOST, together with the European Commission and the EuroHPC Joint Undertaking.

This initiative not only highlights the European Union’s commitment to fostering technological innovation but also sets the stage for a collaborative future where European AI talent and resources are optimally harnessed This initiative aligns with the GenAI4EU initiative, which aims to create AI solutions that empower strategic sectors within the EU and the public sector.

The EuroHPC Joint Undertaking (EuroHPC JU) is a legal and funding entity created in 2018 to enable the European Union and EuroHPC participating countries to coordinate their efforts and pool their resources with the objective of making Europe a world leader in supercomputing.

In order to equip Europe with a world-leading supercomputing infrastructure, the EuroHPC JU has already procured nine supercomputers, located across Europe.

No matter where in Europe they are located, European scientists and users from the public sector and industry can benefit from these EuroHPC supercomputers via the EuroHPC Access Calls to advance science and support the development of a wide range of applications with industrial, scientific and societal relevance for Europe.

In particular, the AI and Data-Intensive Applications Access Call is intended to serve small to medium enterprises (SMEs) and startups, requiring access to supercomputing resources to perform artificial intelligence and data-intensive activities.

Recently reviewed by means of Council Regulation (EU) 2024/1732, the EuroHPC JU received a new mandate to develop and operate AI factories. These comprehensive open AI ecosystems centered around EuroHPC supercomputing facilities will support the growth of a highly competitive and innovative AI ecosystem in Europe.