As write this, I'm trying to try out the Llama2-70b LLM model in my browser using WebLLM. It's taking forever because the developer that wrote that seems to be hosting the model on a Cloudfront CDN paid for by Hugging Face that seems to be speed limited to about 150 megabits per second. The model itself looks to be about ~40 gigabytes. If I was downloading over 4G LTE, I'd be pretty happy with this, but I'm trying to download this over my wired, 10 gigabit, fiber to home connection...so I'm getting 1.5% of what my network is capable.
Now, I'm not a customer of Hugging Face or anyone else related to this. I'm just a random enthusiast that happened on the WebLLM project via Hacker News, happened to have the minimum hardware requirements and wanted to give it a go. They don't owe me anything...I'm downloading free software and not paying a satoshi to anyone. I should be happy that someone is willing to pay for servers to send me this data at even 150 megabits per second!
But that leads me to question of why is someone else paying for me to download free stuff at all. I'm the one who wants this data...shouldn't I be paying for it? And why can't I pay for to download it faster? Alas, this is how the client-server architecture of the internet works. I pay for a server, a domain name and spend time setting up blog software so that I can spend time writing (for free) so that other people can read it. And if I'm really successful, a lot of people read it so I have to pay even more for people to see the work I did for free. The incentives are entirely backwards.
Now, in my case, I'm not interested in making money from blogging. I blog first and foremost for myself...as a way of improving my thinking and communication skills. And secondarily as a way to find people who are interested in similar things to what I'm interested in. And maybe this is true about Hugging Face as well. I don't really know anything about their business except that they raised a lot of money and do something around "AI"...perhaps also don't want to make money off of distributing free LLMs to people like me. But it would certainly be nice if there was a way I could easily pay a bit of money...zap some satoshis to someone...to send these bits to me faster.