Hugging Face, a cool AI company in New York, just got a bunch of money – $235 million, to be exact – from some really big tech companies. Hugging Face got its name from a smiley face emoji that's hugged by two open hands.
This name and logo have been around since the beginning. At first, Hugging Face was just an app for chatting on iPhones. But when they shared some of their smart computer code, AI developers really liked it, so the company switched gears to focus on that.
Back when Hugging Face was starting up with its founders Julien Chaumond and Thomas Wolf, they joked about being the first company to show an emoji instead of some boring letters on the stock market. Delangue, the CEO, even joked about talking to the Nasdaq stock exchange to let them use emojis on their board.
Big names like Google, Amazon, Nvidia, Salesforce, AMD, Intel, IBM, and Qualcomm all joined in to support Hugging Face in this money round. Delangue, the big boss at Hugging Face, said they'll use the money to hire smart people so they can be super competitive in the AI world.
There are lots of startups that make AI models, and they're becoming really valuable because big companies and rich investors are excited about AI. This AI excitement started when Microsoft-backed OpenAI made a chatbot called ChatGPT.
Hugging Face is also a big deal because it's not keeping its AI stuff secret. Other companies like OpenAI or Cohere keep their AI magic hidden and make people pay to use it.
But Hugging Face has a platform where AI developers can share their smart code, models, and data sets. They have tools that help make AI models run better, too. They're like a cozy home for AI models, especially those lists of numbers that make AI work.
While Hugging Face has made some models, its main thing is a website where you can put up models and the stuff that makes them work. They also have tools that help models work better and make big datasets look nice. They even let regular people try out AI models on their website.
Hugging Face is like a place where coders share their projects while they're still working on them, just like GitHub, which Microsoft bought.
Big companies want in on Hugging Face because their workers use it all the time. The CEO said that AI builders are Hugging Face fans and believes there will be even more of them in the future.
But wait, there's more! While people talk a lot about AI models that write, Hugging Face actually has all kinds of AI models. Some make music, some make pictures, and some can even tell you what's in a picture. Hugging Face has a bunch of these models – 500,000 to be exact – plus 250,000 datasets.