Stability AI’s Mostaque on Risks and Benefits to AI-Generated Art

Bloomberg Live
22 Jun 202314:20

TLDRIn an interview, Emad, the founder of Stability AI, discusses the rapid evolution of AI since its release 10 months ago, highlighting its widespread adoption and impact on society. He emphasizes the importance of developing mitigation strategies for photorealistic AI models, the need for cultural representation in datasets, and the potential for AI to become national infrastructure. Emad also addresses concerns about bias in AI-generated images, the company's fundraising efforts, and the challenges of managing AI's ethical implications and potential existential risks.


  • 🚀 Stability AI's release feels like a decade ago for Emad, indicating rapid progress and changes in the AI field.
  • 🌐 Stability AI's model quickly gained popularity, overtaking Bitcoin in terms of public interest within three months.
  • 🔍 The new model from Stability AI includes improvements such as scaling up and introducing new architectures for better intuitive understanding.
  • 🌐 Stability AI's solutions are designed to be open, allowing everyone to improve and make the technology more robust.
  • 🛡️ Mitigations are built into the new models to address concerns about the authenticity and appropriate use of generated content.
  • 💡 Stability AI is working on embedding watermarks in generated images to differentiate them from non-AI generated content.
  • 🧠 Addressing bias in AI image generators is a priority, and Stability AI is collaborating with governments to create datasets that reflect various cultures.
  • 🌍 Emad emphasizes the importance of each country having its own AI models to address biases and contextual needs.
  • 💰 Stability AI raised $100 million last year and continues to attract investor interest despite recent criticisms.
  • 📈 The company is focusing on developing language models and has plans for significant performance improvements in the near future.
  • 🤖 Emad's background in ethics and Islamic law influences Stability AI's approach to safety and ethical considerations in AI development.

Q & A

  • When was Stability AI first released to the public?

    -Stability AI was first released to the public months ago, but it feels like it has been 10 years due to the rapid changes and developments in the field.

  • How quickly did Stability AI's model overtake Bitcoin in terms of popularity?

    -Stability AI's model overtook Bitcoin in popularity within three months of its release.

  • What improvements have been made to the open model that Stability AI released?

    -Stability AI improved the open model by scaling it up and introducing new architectures. They also built in mitigations for photorealistic images, making the technology more robust and accessible.

  • What does Emad mean by 'hands are weird' in the context of the model improvements?

    -Emad's comment about 'hands are weird' refers to the challenges in creating realistic and accurate representations of hands in photorealistic images, which the new model aims to address.

  • How does Stability AI plan to address the issue of bias in AI-generated images?

    -Stability AI is addressing bias by working with multiple governments on datasets that reflect the cultures of those countries. They are also ensuring that their models can be used by every country to interact with their specific contexts and address biases.

  • What is the significance of having embedded watermarking in the latest models?

    -Embedded watermarking in the latest models is important for distinguishing between generated and non-generated content. It helps in tracking the use of AI-generated images and ensuring the appropriate use of the technology.

  • What is the role of public broadcasting data in powering AI models, according to Emad?

    -Public broadcasting data should be used to power AI models as it is considered a form of national infrastructure. This data can lead to innovation and help in dealing with the challenges posed by AI technology.

  • How has the Forbes article accusing Emad of exaggeration affected Stability AI's fundraising efforts?

    -Despite the Forbes article, fundraising interest for Stability AI continues to increase. Emad maintains an open dialogue with existing investors, who have been supportive throughout the process.

  • What are Stability AI's plans for language models?

    -Stability AI is moving towards a property open development for their language models. They recently released an alpha version and are preparing for a beta release, which will be a significant step up from the alpha.

  • What is Emad's perspective on the economic impact of AI?

    -Emad believes that AI will have the biggest economic impact and be deflationary, affecting the economy like nothing else before. He emphasizes the need to prepare for this impact and to build AI that is beneficial rather than harmful.

  • How does Stability AI ensure the ethical use of its AI models?

    -Stability AI is building a safety team and working with external ethicists and other parties to ensure the ethical development and use of their AI models. They also support initiatives like AI and to broaden the conversation on AI ethics.

  • What is the most pressing challenge for Stability AI currently?

    -The most pressing challenge for Stability AI is to be more transparent about their operations and to build human capital. They are focusing on getting language models to the edge and enabling everyone to own their own models to protect against increasingly convincing black box models with inherent biases.



🚀 Launch and Evolution of Stability AI

This paragraph discusses the inception and rapid evolution of Stability AI, a large-scale AI model that has made a significant impact since its release. Emad, the speaker, reflects on the model's journey, from being the first usable AI on a laptop to overtaking Bitcoin in popularity within three months. The conversation with Rachel delves into the new model's features, improvements in architecture, and the importance of making AI technology accessible and robust through an open model approach.


💡 Innovation and Challenges in AI Adoption

The focus of this paragraph is on the challenges and opportunities in the enterprise adoption of AI. Emad and Rachel discuss the current state of AI, where it is being widely discussed but not yet enterprise-ready. Emad emphasizes the need for innovation through open data and models, and the importance of creating national AI infrastructure. The conversation also touches on the funding aspects of Stability AI, investor relations, and the impact of a recent Forbes article on the company's image and fundraising efforts.


🌐 Global AI Development and Ethical Considerations

In this paragraph, the discussion centers around the global development of AI and the ethical considerations that come with it. Emad talks about the importance of each country having its own AI models to reflect their culture and address biases. The conversation also covers the role of public broadcasting data in powering AI models and the need for a diverse range of voices in the AI ethics conversation. Additionally, Emad shares his personal background in ethics and the steps Stability AI is taking to ensure responsible AI development.



💡Stability AI

Stability AI refers to the company that has developed a large-scale AI model that is usable on a laptop, which has gained significant attention and adoption since its release. The company is focused on creating AI models that are accessible, robust, and capable of generating photorealistic images with built-in mitigations for ethical concerns. In the context of the video, Stability AI is working on improving its models and addressing issues such as bias and ethical use of AI technology.

💡Photorealistic Images

Photorealistic images refer to AI-generated images that are incredibly realistic and indistinguishable from photographs taken by a camera. These images are created using sophisticated AI models that have been trained on vast datasets to mimic the complexity and nuances of real-world scenes. In the video, Stability AI discusses their efforts to improve these models and make them more robust and ethically sound.


Mitigations in the context of AI refer to strategies or measures taken to reduce the negative impacts or risks associated with the use of AI technologies. This can include addressing biases in AI-generated content, ensuring the ethical use of AI, and implementing safeguards against the misuse of AI capabilities. In the video, Stability AI discusses their efforts to build mitigations into their AI models to make them more responsible and ethically sound.


Bias in AI refers to the tendency of AI systems to produce prejudiced or unfair outcomes based on the data they were trained on. This can manifest in various ways, such as generating images that perpetuate stereotypes or favoring certain groups over others. Addressing bias is crucial for ensuring that AI technologies are fair and inclusive. In the video, Stability AI talks about their efforts to reduce bias in their AI-generated images by working with multiple governments and reflecting the cultures of different countries in their datasets.

💡Data Infrastructure

Data infrastructure refers to the systems, tools, and processes used to collect, store, manage, and analyze data. In the context of AI, having robust data infrastructure is essential for training and improving AI models. The video emphasizes the importance of national data infrastructure to support the development and customization of AI models that are tailored to the needs and contexts of individual countries.


Innovation in this context refers to the process of creating new ideas, methods, or products, particularly in the field of technology. It is the driving force behind the advancement of AI and is seen as a key to addressing the challenges and disruptions caused by the rapid development of AI technologies. In the video, Emad from Stability AI emphasizes the need for innovation through open data and open models to stay ahead in the AI industry.


Fundraising in a business context refers to the process of seeking and securing capital from investors to finance a company's operations, growth, or development. In the tech and startup world, fundraising is a critical activity that allows companies to scale up and achieve their business objectives. In the video, Emad discusses Stability AI's fundraising efforts and the interest from investors despite some challenges.


Ethics in the context of AI deals with the moral principles and values that guide the development and use of AI technologies. It involves considering the potential impact of AI on society, ensuring fairness, and preventing harm. Companies working in AI often have teams dedicated to ethical considerations to ensure responsible AI development. In the video, Emad talks about his background in ethics and the steps Stability AI is taking to incorporate ethical considerations into their work.

💡AI and Faith

AI and Faith refers to the intersection of artificial intelligence and religious or spiritual beliefs. This can involve exploring the ethical implications of AI from a religious perspective or using AI to enhance religious practices and understanding. In the video, Emad mentions supporting AI and Faith initiatives, indicating a broader approach to AI ethics that includes diverse viewpoints.

💡Existential Threat

An existential threat refers to a danger or risk that has the potential to cause the end of something, such as a species, a way of life, or even humanity itself. In the context of AI, the term is often used to describe concerns that advanced AI could become uncontrollable or lead to outcomes that are detrimental to human survival and well-being. In the video, Emad discusses the potential risks associated with AI and the need for proper standards and controls.

💡Language Models

Language models in AI are algorithms that are trained to understand and generate human language. They are used in various applications, such as chatbots, translation services, and content generation. These models learn from large datasets of text to predict and produce language that is grammatically coherent and contextually relevant. In the video, Stability AI talks about their efforts to improve language models and make them more accessible and powerful.

💡Human Capital

Human capital refers to the skills, knowledge, and experience possessed by individuals, which are valuable assets to organizations. In the context of AI and technology companies, building human capital involves attracting, developing, and retaining talented individuals who can contribute to the company's innovation and growth. In the video, Emad from Stability AI emphasizes the importance of building human capital as a key challenge and focus area for the company.


Stability AI released a large-scale usable model that can run on a laptop, marking a significant shift in accessibility.

The model's popularity grew rapidly, overtaking Bitcoin in three months and becoming a widely discussed technology.

Stability AI introduced new architectures and improvements to the open model, addressing the challenge of creating photorealistic images.

Mitigations were built into the model to address concerns with earlier photorealistic models, emphasizing the importance of responsible release.

Stability AI aims to establish industry standards for AI technology to ensure proper tracking and appropriate use.

The company is working on embedded watermarking to differentiate generated content from original content.

Addressing bias in AI-generated images is a priority, with Stability AI collaborating with multiple governments to reflect diverse cultures in their datasets.

Stability AI's mission includes building a foundation with potential for every country to have its own models and interact effectively with global contexts.

The company is focused on feeding AI models with high-quality data instead of the 'garbage' currently available on the internet.

Stability AI raised $100 million last year and has ongoing interest from investors, despite recent challenges and criticisms.

The company is planning to release language models with significant performance improvements, potentially doubling that of existing models like GPT.

Stability AI is working on highly refined versions of its open models, including a recently released open LAMA model.

The company's approach to AI ethics involves building a safety team, working with external ethicists, and expanding the conversation on AI and faith.

Stability AI's CEO, Emad, acknowledges the potential for AI to be an existential threat and emphasizes the need for proper standards and control.

The most pressing challenge for Stability AI is to be more transparent and to build human capital, particularly in advancing language models.

Emad highlights the importance of owning your own models and controlling your cognitive capabilities in the age of AI.

The impact of generative AI is compared to COVID-19, suggesting a significant and inevitable economic shift.

Stability AI is moving towards property open development, indicating a shift in their release strategy and model accessibility.