Meta Platforms made its latest push in the increasingly hyped generative AI arena with the launch of an open-source coding tool, upping competition with rivals including Microsoft and Google.

In a blog, Meta Platforms explained it is releasing a large language model dubbed Code Llama, which can use text prompts to generate and discuss code, with the potential to make workflows faster and more efficient for developers.

The offering will also lower the barrier to entry for people learning coding, and has the potential to be used as a productivity and education tool, claimed Meta Platforms.

Code Llama will be available for free for research and commercial use, in line with its open approach to AI development.

The company is building the model on top of Llama 2, an open source language model it took the lid off last month which encourages testing of the technology from established businesses and start-ups.

Notably, by offering its technology for free, Meta Platforms’ could take business away from competitors which charge for such software.

Microsoft’s GitHub Copilot, for example, is powered by OpenAI and also offers companies AI coding tools, but at a cost.

Bloomberg reported Meta Platforms is also planning to release a consumer chatbot similar to OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Google’s Bard, in the coming weeks.