Google Cloud is partnering with open-source code and model platform Hugging Face for open-source AI software development using Google's cloud infrastructure.

Developers will be able to use Google's technical infrastructure, including its in-house AI chips - or tensor processing units (TPUs) - as well as the technical integration required to use the Nvidia H100 GPUs, which is expected to be completed in weeks, to access Hugging Face's open-source AI software including models and data sets.

hugging face google
– Hugging Face

Google and Hugging Face have reached a revenue-sharing agreement for the partnership, but terms have not been disclosed.

In February of last year, Hugging Face signed a similar deal with Amazon Web Services. At the time this made AWS the platform's preferred cloud provider, though it noted it would work with other cloud platforms in the future.

According to the companies, the partnership was motivated by a market need to create AI software that is optimized for specific tasks.

"It shows we are moving into a world where there's not just one model, but there as many models as companies, Hugging Face chief executive Clem Delangue told Reuters. "Every company is training, fine tuning and optimizing their own models, which is the direction that the field is taking."

Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian added: "It always starts infrastructure up because you first got to put in the machines that reflect the demand - and grow from there."

Hugging Face is expecting its repository of AI-related software to double in size in the next four months.

Rival OpenAI offers its services exclusively through Microsoft Azure, following Microsoft's multi-billion dollar investment, while both Google and Amazon have made deals with another AI lab, Anthropic.

Google Cloud is currently among those under a Federal Trade Commission inquiry for its deals with AI companies and the potential anti-competitive impacts of these agreements. The five companies listed - Amazon, Microsoft, Google, OpenAI, and Anthropic, have 45 days to respond. The Hugging Face partnership is not currently included in the inquiry.

This week, Google settled a $1.67bn patent infringement lawsuit filed by Dr Joseph Bates over his computer architecture designs, which Bates claimed were copied by Google for their TPUs v2 and v3. Details of the settlement were not shared.