Three of Stable Diffusion’s original developers reportedly leave Stability AI

  • SaySay
  • Ai
  • June 16, 2024
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Three members of Stability AI Ltd.’s research team have reportedly left the well-funded artificial intelligence startup.

Sifted and Forbes reported today, citing people familiar with the matter. Stability AI confirmed one of the three researchers’ departures. This news follows recent significant personnel changes at Inflection AI Inc., another prominent generative AI startup.

London-based Stability AI, founded in 2019, has raised over $100 million from investors. The company is renowned for developing Stable Diffusion, a popular series of open-source image generation models that create images from natural language prompts.

The original Stable Diffusion model was created by five researchers from the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich. The three Stability AI members who have reportedly left the company, Robin Rombach, Andreas Blattmann, and Dominik Lorenz, were part of this team, with Rombach as the group leader.

Since the initial release of Stable Diffusion in late 2022, Stability AI has launched several updated versions. The latest, Stable Diffusion 3, was released in February and generates higher-quality images and understands complex prompts better than its predecessors.

Stable Diffusion 3 incorporates elements of two popular neural network designs: the Transformer and diffusion model architectures. The Transformer architecture is foundational for large language models, while diffusion models are neural networks trained to draw by studying image files with intentional errors introduced by researchers.

In addition to Stable Diffusion 3, Stability AI introduced another AI model, Stable Video 3D, capable of generating brief video clips from user-provided images.

Despite developing multiple new AI algorithms, Stability AI has faced the loss of several engineering executives over the past year, including a chief technology officer and vice presidents for research and development, engineering, and applied machine learning. Other key employees, such as the general counsel, have also left recently.

Forbes reports that internal documents indicate the company’s expenses significantly exceed its revenue. In November, Bloomberg noted that Stability AI was spending $8 million monthly to support its operations.

The news of the researchers’ departures comes shortly after Inflection AI, a high-profile language model developer, also announced personnel changes. On Tuesday, Inflection AI revealed that founding Chief Executive Officer Mustafa Suleyman is joining Microsoft Corp. to lead its consumer AI group. Co-founder Karén Simonyan and most of Inflection AI’s other employees will also move to Microsoft.

Inflection AI will continue under the leadership of new CEO Sean White, a former Mozilla Foundation executive. The company will refocus on developing custom generative AI models for enterprises and plans to offer its Inflection-2.5 LLM through Azure and other cloud platforms.

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