Sponsoring sqlite-vec to enable more powerful Local AI applications

Mozilla’s recently announced Builders program supports projects that advance the cause of open source AI. Our inaugural theme is “Local AI”: AI-powered applications that can run entirely locally on consumer devices like desktops, laptops, and smartphones. We are keenly interested in this area because it fosters greater privacy and control by putting AI technology directly into the hands of users. It also democratizes AI development by reducing costs, making powerful tools accessible to individual developers and small communities.

As a part of Mozilla Builders, we've launched an accelerator that developers can apply to join, but in parallel we have also been proactively recruiting specific open source projects that we feel have the potential to move AI forward and would benefit from Mozilla’s investment, expertise, and support. Our first such Builders project is llamafile, led by open source developer Justine Tunney. llamafile makes open LLMs run fast on everyday consumer hardware while also making open source AI dramatically more accessible and usable.


Today we’re proud to announce the next Mozilla Builders project: sqlite-vec. Led by independent developer Alex Garcia, this project brings vector search functionality to the beloved SQLite embedded database. Alex has been working on this problem for a while, and we think his latest approach will have a great impact by providing application developers with a powerful new tool for building Local AI applications.

“I'm very excited for sqlite-vec to be a Mozilla Builders project”, said Alex Garcia. “I care a lot about building software that is easy to get started with and works everywhere, a trait obviously shared by other Builders projects like llamafile. AI tools are no exception — a vector database that runs everywhere means more equitable access for everyone.”

Vector databases are emerging as a key component of the AI application stack, supporting uses like retrieval augmented generation (RAG) and semantic search. But few of today’s available databases are designed for on-device use, making it harder to offer functionality like RAG in Local AI apps. SQLite is a mature and widely-deployed embedded database – in fact, it’s even built-into Mozilla’s own Firefox web browser. The prospect of a vector-enabled SQLite opens up many new possibilities for locally-running AI applications. For example, imagine a chatbot that can answer questions about your personal data without letting a single byte of that data leave the privacy and safety of your laptop.

We’re excited to be working with Alex and supporting his efforts on sqlite-vec. We encourage you to follow the project’s progress, and Alex welcomes your contributions. And Mozilla’s Discord server is a great place to connect with Alex, the Mozilla Builders team, and everyone else in our growing community of open source practitioners. Please stop by and introduce yourself.