AlpineAI CEO Pascal Kaufmann (right) also presented the management team of AI professionals in Zurich. Image credit: yvh

SwissGPT bringing secure AI to companies

21 August 2023 14:43

Zurich CCGreater Zurich

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Zurich/Davos - The Swiss start-up AlpineAI is seeking to develop trustworthy Artificial Intelligence (AI) applications for businesses in the form of SwissGPT. To make this vision a reality, leading researchers from Swiss institutions are contributing their expertise.

AlpineAI, the start-up founded this summer in Davos in the canton of Graubünden, is pursuing the mission of enabling businesses and society to more easily exploit the benefits offered by AI-adjacent technologies and to strengthen Switzerland as a location of AI expertise over the long term. These aims were outlined by the neuroscientist Pascal Kaufmann, co-founder and CEO of AlpineAI, on August 21 at Zurich Airport. SwissGPT, which is based on AI models such as ChatGPT or the open source version Falcon, has been developed with precisely these objectives in mind. For this, data remains within Swiss borders at all times, while companies are already testing pilot installations, Kaufmann explained. SwissGPT is intended to pave the way for a fully Swiss model within the framework of generative AI. Given the prominent position in this field of countries such as the USA and China, the project seeks to gain a market foothold for Switzerland specifically and Europe in broader terms.

In a first phase, SwissGPT offers companies and organizations with Private GPT secure access to systems such as ChatGPT. In this context, it is vital that sensitive data is anonymized and is not available to providers such as OpenAI. Email applications are also available via SwissGPT Mail, which allows the user to formulate reply options, for example. During the presentation, Chief Scientist Benjamin Grewe emphasized that the solutions were constantly being further developed. In the future, it is highly likely that the system will also be able to handle specific actions such as automated restaurant bookings.

With these developments, AlpineAI is striving to always be at the forefront of current developments. This ambition is being supported by an alliance formed between various Swiss research institutions. For example, co-founder Benjamin Grewe is a professor at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH) and the University of Zurich (UZH). He is responsible for coordinating the research in tandem with experts from the AI foundation Mindfire and the Centre for AI at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW). The center is headed up by Thilo Stadelmann, who is also a co-founder and board member of AlpineAI. Swiss IT firms including Abraxas Informatik and isolutions have been brought on board as strategic partners. ce/yvh

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