Stable Diffusion image generator

Released: August 2022

Stable Diffusion is a free, open source AI-based system that generates images from text descriptions or prompts.  

Trained on pairs of images and captions taken from LAION-5B, Stable Diffusion was initially restricted to researchers as Stable Diffusion 1. Stable Diffusion 2 was publicly released in August 2022.

Operator: Stability AI; Prisma Labs
Developer: Stability AI; CompVis LMU; Eleuther AI; RunwayML; LAION
Country: USA
Sector: Technology
Purpose: Generate images
Technology: NLP/text analysis; Computer vision; Text-to-image; Neural network; Deep learning
Issue: Accuracy/reliability; Bias/discrimination - race, ethnicity, gender; Copyright; Dual/multi-use; Employment; Safety
Transparency: Black box


Stable Diffusion quickly became popular largely on account of its free availability, minimal usage restrictions, and the fact that it can run on ordinary consumer hardware.

However, it is seen to suffer from a number of technical limitations, and to pose several actual and potential challenges and risks to organisations and individuals operating and using it:

Furthermore, Google researchers have shown that Stable Diffusion is able to memorise and recreate specific copyrighted images.


Stability AI initially made Stable Diffusion accessible courtesy of a public demo, a software beta called DreamStudio, a development notebook, and weights, model card, and code.

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Page info
Type: System
Published: December 2022
Last updated: August 2023