Midjourney Bans Stability AI Employees Amid Data Scraping Controversy

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Midjourney, a popular AI image generator service, recently made headlines when it banned employees of Stability AI from using its platform. This decision came after accusations that Stability AI staffers caused a systems outage during an attempt to scrape Midjourney’s data.

The extended server outage, which prevented generated images from appearing in user galleries, was officially acknowledged by Midjourney in an update on March 2nd. In response to this incident, Midjourney announced a new policy banning employees of companies engaging in “aggressive automation” or causing outages.

Stability AI CEO, Emad Mostaque, denied ordering the actions that led to the outage. He stated that if a Stability employee was involved, it was unintentional and not a deliberate Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack. Mostaque also claimed that the bot activity in question was not intentional and that his company does not require Midjourney’s data.

Despite the ban and the controversy surrounding the incident, Mostaque downplayed any rivalry between Stability AI and Midjourney. He emphasized the past financial support that Stability AI has provided to Midjourney.

Users of Midjourney pay a monthly subscription fee to access the AI image generator, which has faced criticism for using training data scraped from the Internet without permission. The ban on Stability AI employees was implemented indefinitely due to suspected botnet-like activity involving scraping prompt and image pairs in bulk.

As the situation continues to unfold, it remains to be seen how both companies will move forward and whether any further actions will be taken in response to the outage and alleged scraping of data.

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