Stability AI might’ve just launched a new version of Stable Diffusion, but there appears to be significant churn behind the scenes at the company.
Stability AI has lost both its head of research and COO in recent weeks, Bloomberg reports. David Ha, who was Stability AI’s head of research and active on Twitter has @hardmaru, resigned this month. He’s also updated his Twitter bio to remove all mentions of Stability AI. Stability AI CEO Emad Mostaque said that Chief Operating Officer Ren Ito was “let go”.
“We can confirm that David Ha has taken a break from employment at Stability AI for personal reasons,” said Stability AI spokesman Motez Bishara. “Ren Ito has left to pursue other interests. We wish them both well and thank them for their contributions to Stability AI,” they added.
These departures come weeks after a bombshell Forbes report had highlighted several red flags at the AI startup. As per the Forbes report, Stability AI CEO had exaggerated his company’s links with global agencies, and also his own personal achievements. Stability AI had allegedly overstated the depths of its relationships with agencies such as UNESCO, OECD, WHO and World Bank. Mostaque had also allegedly repeatedly claimed to have a Master’s degree from Oxford, when all he had was a Bachelor’s degree. Stablity AI had also allegedly underplayed the contributions of the German researchers which had created Stable Diffusion.
More worryingly, the Forbes article had also claimed that Emad Mostaque’s wife had withdrawn tens of thousands of dollars from the company. On business cards, she had listed herself as the company’s COO, but apparently didn’t perform the function. She later was also on the board of the company. Stability AI also had trouble paying salaries, and employees often reported that their salaries were delayed.
Emad Mostaque had responded hotly to the allegations, in one instance hinting that he was being targeted for being a minority, and that Forbes had made fun of his son’s autism. Mostaque had also written a lengthy blog post in Stability’s defense, and had personally responded to dozens of Twitter accounts who’d referenced the Forbes article.
Since then Stability AI has launched its new Stable Diffusion model, Stable Diffusion XL v0.9, to largely positive reviews. But now it has emerged that two of its top executives are no longer with the company. David Ha, in particular, was extremely active on Twitter, and after Mostaque himself, was the face of the company on the social media platform. It remains to be seen how Stability AI matches up in an AI field that’s only getting more crowded with, but for now, it appears that Stability AI might have to deal with some internal challenges of its own as well.