Fair Use Arguments for Training Generative AI Are “Wrong,” Says AI Executive

Justin Hendrix is CEO and Editor of Tech Policy Press Shutterstock Yesterday afternoon, an executive at Stability AI – maker of such generative AI systems as Stable Diffusion – posted a note to X (formerly Twitter) explaining why he had resigned from the company. Ed Newton-Rex, who served as vice president of audio at Stability AI, said he quit because he “wasn’t able to change the prevailing opinion on fair use at the company,” an opinion most clearly articulated in its statement to the US Copyright Office in response to a call for public comment on the question.  Newton-Rex, who is also a composer, founded Jukedeck, an AI music generation company that was acquired by TikTok owner ByteDance in 2019. He said he was proud of his team’s work on a “state-of-the-art AI music generation product trained on licensed training data, sharing the revenue from the model with rights-holders,” but that it was clear that the company held a view on the use of unlicensed media “that is fairly standard across many of the large generative AI companies, and other big tech companies building these models.”  That view, more or less, is that anything you can hoover up on the internet is fair game to train your system. But Newton-Rex said that “training generative AI models in this way is, to me, wrong.” His reasoning is that it pulls the rug entirely out from under the entire creative economy: Companies worth billions of dollars are, without permission, training generative AI…Fair Use Arguments for Training Generative AI Are “Wrong,” Says AI Executive