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Midjourney Accuses Stability AI of Image Theft, Bans Its Employees

Apparently, MJ is now in conflict with Stable Diffusion developer over image theft. Ironic.

While DALL-E developer OpenAI is busy fighting with Elon Musk, the creators of two other notable image generation AIs, Midjourney and Stability AI, seem to have sparked a beef of their own over the most ironic thing imaginable, considering the nature of the companies involved – image theft.

According to a recent tweet shared by AI enthusiast Nick St. Pierre, the alleged theft occurred last Saturday. It is claimed that employees from Stability AI infiltrated Midjourney's database and stole all prompt and image pairs, an action that also caused a 24-hour outage. In response, MJ reportedly banned all Stable Diffusion developers from its services, a move supposedly disclosed internally within the company on Wednesday.

In the comments on Nick's tweet, both David Holz and Emad Mostaque, CEOs of Midjourney and Stability AI respectively, made an appearance. The former confirmed the theft and mentioned that the team had already obtained some information on the issue, while the latter denied instructing his employees to steal from Midjourney and promised to assist with the investigation. Given the amicable relationship between the two CEOs, it's highly likely that their statements are genuine and not an attempt at damage control.

Nick also shared a more thorough overview of Midjourney's office hour notes, providing additional info on the matter:

At the moment, the situation is still unfolding, and there's limited information about the actual culprits behind the theft and whether or not Stability AI directed them to target their competitor. However, there's one thing I'm certain of – Midjourney being outraged about image theft is the absolute pinnacle of irony.

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Comments 9

  • Anonymous user

    So it's okay for them to harvest your data but their data that's generated can't be harvested

    5

    Anonymous user

    ·2 months ago·
  • Anonymous user

    The irony when their so-called AI that's just a glorified multi-stage target photomorpher with no capacity to understand basic geometric instructions is defended by them. Without the stolen images their AI wouldn't even work. I wouldn't even call it AI though since it doesn't even understand how the images are put together, they just use text to image lookups to fake that.

    0

    Anonymous user

    ·a month ago·
  • Anonymous user

    I wouldn't want to play that game if I were Midjourney lmao

    0

    Anonymous user

    ·a month ago·
  • Anonymous user

    Steven - A generative AI is not a theft machine. The theft happens when people choose to scrape data they don't have rights for and then use it as a training dataset. A training dataset could be totally legitimate, for example someone could make a custom dataset with only their own personal work and then use a generative system to enhance their personal creative workflow.

    The "machine" is just a neural network with some specific tricks, it's a neutral technology that has been applied in all sorts of ways before that nobody has any problem with. The software doesn't steal. People steal. Let's get it right and place the blame where it belongs. The people who created these image generating models have a lot to answer for.

    The people who developed open source NN code that led to the emergence of these systems? They were just doing good honest work, and giving it to the community for free in order to advance our collective understanding, research, capabilities etc. Neural network software has broad and diverse use cases, most of which have nothing to do with art or copyright, for example scientific research, and even the image generating variants have legitimate uses. Criticize the human beings who chose to recklessly scrape the internet to create the datasets that have made these image generators so controversial.

    0

    Anonymous user

    ·a month ago·
  • O Steven

    What a joke.
    You literally invent a theft machine, but then complain that somebody stole the blueprints to the theft machine.

    What comes around goes around...

    3

    O Steven

    ·2 months ago·
  • Anonymous user

    Lol..they stole it first anyway!? They've done worse than this, one of the worst!

    1

    Anonymous user

    ·2 months ago·
  • Anonymous user

    Oh, the irony.

    1

    Anonymous user

    ·2 months ago·
  • Anonymous user

    Based on the notes, they banned Stability AI due to them overwhelming the service, not dut to theft. Not as iconic as we think.

    0

    Anonymous user

    ·2 months ago·
  • Anonymous user

    I think they are more upset about the 24 hour outage it caused.

    0

    Anonymous user

    ·2 months ago·

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