French AI startup Mistral AI releases new large language model and companion chatbot to rival GPT-4 and Claude 2

French AI startup Mistral AI has released a new language model called Mistral Large aimed at directly challenging prominent models such as GPT-4 and Claude 2. Mistral Large is specifically designed to compete in various areas including text generation, translation, and code completion, putting it in direct competition with other leading large language models like OpenAI’s GPT-4, Anthropic’s Claude 2, and Google’s Gemini Pro.

But Mistral AI isn’t stopping there. In a strategic move to bolster its user experience, the company has also unveiled Le Chat, a savvy chatbot poised to challenge the dominance of ChatGPT. Currently, in its beta phase, Le Chat harnesses the formidable capabilities of Mistral Large, offering users a seamless interface to engage with advanced AI functionalities.

An Alternative to ChatGPT

In addition to Mistral AI’s latest model launch, they’re rolling out a new chat assistant called Le Chat in a strategic move to bolster its user experience and also challenge the dominance of ChatGPT. Currently in its beta phase, Le Chat harnesses the capabilities of Mistral Large, offering users a seamless interface to engage with advanced AI functionalities.

Interested users can sign up for the beta release on chat.mistral.ai. While the company acknowledges potential quirks during this phase, access to the service is currently free of charge. Le Chat offers three distinct models for users to choose from: Mistral Small, Mistral Large, and a prototype named Mistral Next, tailored for brevity and clarity. Notably, Le Chat operates without web access.

Looking ahead, Mistral AI intends to introduce a paid version of Le Chat targeted at enterprise clients. This premium offering will feature centralized billing and customizable moderation mechanisms, catering to the specific needs of corporate users.

Mistral AI has set the price at $8 per million input tokens and $24 per million output tokens through its API. The model boasts a context window spanning 32k tokens and supports languages including English, French, Spanish, German, and Italian. And while Le Chat comes at no monetary cost, it does come with a caveat – it’s unable to access the vast expanse of the web.

Partnership with Microsoft

Mistral didn’t stop there. The company also announced it has reached a strategic partnership agreement with tech behemoth Microsoft as part of its efforts to expand its reach and accessibility. This collaboration will see Mistral models integrated into Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing platform, potentially opening new avenues for both companies in the realm of AI innovation.

But what does this mean in the grand scheme of things? While it may seem like just another addition to Azure’s already vast model catalog, the implications are far-reaching. This partnership not only signals a closer relationship between Mistral AI and Microsoft but also hints at future collaboration opportunities on the horizon. As Mistral AI rides the wave of its Azure debut, it’s likely to attract a broader clientele base, leveraging Microsoft’s expansive reach in the tech industry.

As for Microsoft, this move aligns with its broader strategy of embracing diverse AI models on its cloud platform, a move that could potentially fortify its position amidst growing anti-competitive scrutiny.

In the background, Mistral AI has been making waves in the AI landscape since its inception in 2023. With a formidable team led by CEO Arthur Mensch, the company has secured significant funding and garnered support from notable investors like Andreessen-Horowitz and LightSpeed Ventures. Additionally, Mistral AI has been actively involved in shaping AI legislation in the EU, advocating for modifications to the AI Act to ensure a conducive regulatory environment for innovation.

As Mistral AI charts its course in the ever-evolving AI domain, one thing is clear – this is just the beginning of an exciting journey towards pushing the boundaries of AI excellence. With its sights set on delivering cutting-edge AI capabilities tailored for developers and enterprises alike, Mistral AI is poised to leave an indelible mark on the AI landscape in the months and years to come.

We featured Mistral back in the latter part of last year after the generative AI startup raised €385 million (approximately $415 million) in its second funding round led by investors such as Andreessen-Horowitz and LightSpeed Ventures.

Founded in 2023 by Arthur Mensch (CEO), Guillaume Lample, and Timothee Lacroix, Mistral specializes in developing large language models and various AI technologies. The company’s name, derived from a northern winter wind, reflects its aspirations to become a significant player in the AI domain.

Mensch, Mistral’s CEO and a former DeepMind research scientist said the company’s mission is to “construct the next generation of AI systems capable of solving real-world problems.” He added that the new funding will be used to expand the team, accelerate research and development efforts, and establish new offices across Europe and the United States.


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