Why are tech companies giving away the family jewels?

There’s been some strange news out of Silicon Valley recently. In November Google announced that it was going to make its state of the art machine learning software “open source”. (Making software open source basically means making it free to use and copy.) Google is known to have the most advanced machine learning software in the world. In December, Facebook announced that it was making its machine learning hardware open source. So Facebook going to let everyone know exactly how it configures the servers and physical hardware on its machine learning systems. And last week, Apple released its coding language, called SWIFT, open source. SWIFT is the language on which all of Apple’s operating systems are built. Why are the world’s biggest corporations giving away their competitive advantage, for free?…

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