Stability AI Vice President Ed Newton-Rex Steps Down Over Copyright Concerns
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Stability AI’s Vice President Ed Newton-Rex, recently announced his resignation, opposing the company’s claims that using copyrighted content for AI training is “fair use.”
“I’ve resigned from my role leading the Audio team at Stability AI, because I don’t agree with the company’s opinion that training generative AI models on copyrighted works is ‘fair use,’” wrote Ed Newton-Rex, former vice president of audio at the company.
Ed Newton-Rex was one of the world’s leading experts, who openly voiced his opinion on Generative AI. With his departure from the company, Ed has now brought public and business attention to the issue of AI and copyright.
Newton-Rex expressed gratitude to his former colleague and founder Emad Mostaque for the work they had done up to that point, but said he was unable to change Stability AI’s official stance on using models of copyrighted material in training.
He pointed to a 22-page commentary that his former employer sent to the U.S. Copyright Office, which labeled the new technology as “an acceptable, transformative, and socially-beneficial use of existing content that is protected by fair use.”
I’ve resigned from my role leading the Audio team at Stability AI, because I don’t agree with the company’s opinion that training generative AI models on copyrighted works is ‘fair use’.
I’ve resigned from my role leading the Audio team at Stability AI, because I don’t agree with the company’s opinion that training generative AI models on copyrighted works is ‘fair use’.— Ed Newton-Rex (@ednewtonrex) November 15, 2023
First off, I want to say that there are lots of people at Stability who are deeply…
Mostaque replied to Newton-Rex’s Twitter thread, providing a direct link to the submitted comment.
“[It] was great working with you [and] this is an important discussion,” Mostaque replied.
Was great working with you & this is an important discussion.— Emad (@EMostaque) November 15, 2023
The considered input we gave to the Copyright Office on why we believe fair use supports creative development is here: https://t.co/Wxfo3JXpS5
Generative AI models can create text, images, music and videos based on cues, deriving knowledge from a vast array of training data, most often taken from the open internet. As a result, copyright has become a central part of the debate around this technology.
Stability AI’s Previous Lawsuit Involvements
Since July, Stability AI, Midjourney and Deviant Art have been involved in a lawsuit against the artificial intelligence-based image generators for alleged copyright infringement. In October, a federal judge dismissed most of the claims by a group of artists, including illustrator Sarah Andersen, against Midjourney and Deviant Art, but said the lawsuit against Stability AI could go forward.
“I’m sure I’m not the only person inside these generative AI companies who doesn’t think the claim of ‘fair use’ is fair to creators,” Newton-Rex concluded on twitter. “I hope others will speak up, either internally or in public, so that companies realize that exploiting creators can’t be the long-term solution in generative AI”, he added.
Recently, hardware designing and manufacturing Intel invested in Stability AI. The investment is reportedly Intel’s key step forward in its ambitious AI plans.
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