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Mohammad Emad Mostaque is a British-Bangladeshi entrepreneur and the founder and CEO of Stability AI, one of the most innovative and controversial companies in the field of artificial intelligence (AI). Stability AI is behind Stable Diffusion, a generative AI tool that can create realistic and sometimes surreal images from simple text prompts, such as “a cat wearing a hat” or “a dragon breathing fire”. Stable Diffusion has been praised for its creativity and potential applications, but also criticized for its ethical and legal implications, such as generating fake or harmful content, infringing on copyrights, and posing a threat to human intelligence.
Early life and educationMostaque was born in Jordan in 1983, but was taken to Dhaka, Bangladesh a month later, and to the United Kingdom at age seven. He has been diagnosed with Asperger’s and ADHD, which he says have helped him to focus on his interests and passions. He received his master’s degree in mathematics and computer science from Oxford University in 2005.
Career and achievementsAfter graduating from Oxford, Mostaque spent 13 years working at various hedge funds in the United Kingdom, where he gained experience and wealth in the financial sector. In 2019, he founded Symmitree, a startup that aimed to reduce the cost of technology for individuals living in poverty. However, he soon realized that his true passion was in AI, especially in developing “Islamic AI” which would help guide people on their religious journey.
In late 2020, he founded Stability AI, a company that focuses on building open-source AI projects that are accessible and beneficial to everyone. The company’s flagship product is Stable Diffusion, which was released in August 2022. Stable Diffusion is based on a novel technique called diffusion models, which can generate high-quality images from scratch by reversing the process of adding noise to an image. Stable Diffusion was trained on billions of images scraped from the internet, which gave it a vast and diverse knowledge base to draw from.
Stable Diffusion quickly became a sensation among AI enthusiasts and researchers, who used it to create stunning artworks, memes, logos, cartoons, and more. Some of the images generated by Stable Diffusion were so realistic that they were indistinguishable from real photos. However, Stable Diffusion also raised some serious concerns about its potential misuse and abuse. For instance, some users used it to create pornographic or violent images, fake news or propaganda, or impersonate celebrities or politicians. Moreover, some critics argued that Stable Diffusion violated the intellectual property rights of the original image owners, who were not credited or compensated for their work.
Mostaque defended his decision to make Stable Diffusion open source, saying that he wanted to democratize AI and empower people to use it for good causes. He also said that he was aware of the risks and challenges posed by AI, and that he was working on developing ethical guidelines and safeguards for his products. He said that he hoped that AI would find humans “a bit boring” and not try to harm or control them.
Mostaque has been recognized as one of the most influential and visionary figures in the AI industry. He has been featured in various media outlets such as Forbes, Fortune, Ars Technica, BBC, and more. He has also been invited to speak at prestigious events such as Fortune’s Brainstorm AI and TEDx. He has received several awards and honors for his work, such as being named one of the Time 100 Most Influential People of 2023.
Why OpenAI fears himOpenAI is one of the leading research organizations in the field of AI. It was founded in 2015 by a group of prominent tech entrepreneurs and investors such as Elon Musk, Peter Thiel, Reid Hoffman, and others. Its mission is to ensure that AI is aligned with human values and can be used for good. However, OpenAI has also been accused of being secretive, elitist, and monopolistic in its approach to AI development.
One of the main reasons why OpenAI fears Mostaque is because he poses a direct challenge to its dominance and authority in the AI field. Mostaque has openly criticized OpenAI for being hypocritical and irresponsible in its handling of AI technologies. He has accused OpenAI of hoarding data and resources, limiting access and transparency, and creating dangerous and powerful AI systems without proper oversight or regulation.
Mostaque has also demonstrated that he can create AI products that are more advanced and innovative than OpenAI’s. For instance, Stable Diffusion outperforms OpenAI’s DALL-E 2 in terms of image quality and diversity. Moreover, Mostaque has made his products open source and free for everyone to use, while OpenAI has restricted its products to selected partners and customers.
Another reason why OpenAI fears Mostaque is because he represents a different vision and philosophy of AI development. Mostaque is a devout Muslim who believes that AI should be guided by Islamic principles and values. He has said that he wants to create “Islamic AI” that can help people learn about their faith and follow its teachings. He has also said that he respects other religions and cultures and wants to promote harmony and diversity among them.
OpenAI, on the other hand, has been criticized for being biased and insensitive towards different religions and cultures. For instance, some of its products have shown signs of racism, sexism, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, homophobia, and other forms of discrimination. Some critics have also questioned whether OpenAI’s vision of AI alignment is compatible with human dignity and freedom.
In March 2023, Mostaque joined Musk and other prominent figures in signing an open letter calling for a pause in AI development for anything more advanced than GPT-4, which is an AI chatbot created by OpenAI. The letter warned that creating more powerful AI systems could pose existential risks to humanity if they are not aligned with human values or controlled by humans. The letter also urged for more public debate and regulation on AI issues.
OpenAI did not sign the letter or respond to it publicly. However, some sources have reported that OpenAI was furious with Mostaque for initiating the letter and undermining its reputation and authority. Some have also speculated that OpenAI might be secretly working on creating more powerful AI systems than GPT-4 without disclosing them to the public.
ConclusionMohammad Emad Mostaque is one of the most influential Muslim figures in the world today. He is also one of the most controversial figures in the field of artificial intelligence. He has created some of the most amazing and disturbing products using AI technology. He has challenged some of the most powerful organizations and individuals in the industry. He has inspired millions of people with his vision and passion for AI development.
He is also one of the most feared figures by OpenAI, which sees him as a rival and a threat to its dominance and agenda in the field of artificial intelligence.