Ethics and Accountability: Ethical Dispute Triggers Resignation at Stability.AI

Ai Copyright law Fair use Resignation Ethical issues

By AI Sam

Nov 20, 2023

High-ranking executive Ed Newton-Rex from generative AI firm Stability AI, has chosen to part ways with the company over pressing ethical concerns about copyright infringement. His concerns revolve around Stability AI's practice of training their models on copyrighted content without explicit consent from the right holders. As the former head of audio, Newton-Rex called this practice 'exploitative'.🤔

Stability AI has defended its position using the 'fair use' clause in copyright law. The company argues that the outputs produced by their generative AI models are transformative, giving the argument that they fall under 'fair use' stipulations. This controversy comes amid an ongoing investigation by the U.S. Copyright Office into generative AI and associated policy issues.⚖️

However, Newton-Rex counters that the generative content is potentially a direct competitor against the original, copyrighted works. This scenario, according to him, might cross the line of 'fair use', and hence, influence the implementation practices within the industry.⏳

In recent times, the voices against claiming others' copyrighted works without permissions have gained momentum. High-profile creatives like Sarah Silverman and George RR Martin, along with organizations such as BBC have taken legal action against AI firms. Their concerns echo that of Newton-Rex's that creative works are being exploited without proper compensation. 📣

Stability AI isn't alone in this legal quagmire. Alongside them, companies like Midjourney and Deviant Art found themselves tackling similar lawsuits, alleging infringement by AI image generators. While the charges against Midjourney and Deviant Art have mostly been dismissed, Stability AI's case continues.⚖️

Newton-Rex has shown support for a generative AI that respects creators' rights. In a departure statement, he stressed that the industry needs to address these concerns for a fair and sustainable future. His exit also marks the tenth high-profile departure from Stability AI just this year.🚪

Regardless of the contentious departure, Stability AI expressed their grattitude towards Newton-Rex for his contributions and wished him good luck in his future endeavors.👋


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