Meta Passes PyTorch, the Python Machine Learning Framework, to the Linux Foundation

Meta cedes control of the open source project in favor of the newly-formed PyTorch Foundation, without "any of the good things" changing.

Meta, the parent company behind Facebook and the virtual reality platform formerly known as Oculus, has announced that its PyTorch machine learning framework is being handed over to the Linux Foundation — where it will be managed under the newly-formed PyTorch Foundation.

"Growth around AI/ML and Deep Learning has been nothing short of extraordinary—and the community embrace of PyTorch has led to it becoming one of the five-fastest growing open source software projects in the world," says Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation. "Bringing PyTorch to the Linux Foundation where its global community will continue to thrive is a true honor. We are grateful to the team at Meta — where PyTorch was incubated and grown into a massive ecosystem — for trusting the Linux Foundation with this crucial effort."

PyTorch was originally developed at Meta, known simply as Facebook at the time, with its first public release in September 2016. Designed to provide an easy way to manage homogeneous multi-dimensional rectangular arrays and boasting the ability to harness the computational power of a graphics processing unit (GPU) to dramatically accelerate performance, PyTorch has become a key component of deep neural network research and real-world deployment.

"We're moving PyTorch, the open source AI framework led by Meta researchers, to become a project governed under the Linux Foundation," Meta founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg announced today. "PyTorch has become one of the leading AI platforms with more than 150,000 projects on GitHub built on the framework. The new PyTorch Foundation board will include many of the AI leaders who've helped get the community where it is today, including Meta and our partners at AMD, Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and NVIDIA. I'm excited to keep building the PyTorch community and advancing AI research."

"PyTorch has gotten to its current state through sound maintainership and open source community management. We're not going to change any of the good things about PyTorch," Zemlin claims of what to expect now PyTorch is outwith Meta's direct control. "In fact, we can’t wait to learn from Meta and the PyTorch community to improve the experiences and outcomes of other projects in the Foundation.

"We are grateful for Meta’s trust in 'passing us the torch' (pun intended). Together with the community, we can build something (even more) insanely great and add to the global heritage of invaluable technology that underpins the present and the future of our lives. Welcome, PyTorch! We can’t wait to get started!"

Those interested in learning more can sign up for a webinar on the PyTorch Foundation, which is to be led by Dr. Ibrahim Haddad, this Thursday through the Linux Foundation; additional details, including a list of members, are available on the PyTorch website.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire:
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