New Discord Bot for the Stable Horde

For a few months now the Stable Horde has had its own Discord bot, developed by JamDon. One of the most important aspects I wanted for the bot (and the reason for its original creation), was the ability to be able to gift kudos to people via emojis, which would serve as a way to promote good behavior and mutual aid.

In the process, the the bot received more and more features, such as receiving the functionality of being able to generate images from the Stable Horde, or getting information about the linked horde account etc.

Unfortunately development eventually slowed and then 2 months ago or so, ago JamDon informed me that they do not have time anymore to continue development. Further complicating things was the fact that the bot was written in JavaScript which I do not speak, which made it impossible for me to continue its development on my own. So it languished unmaintained, as the horde got more and more features and other things started changing. It was the reason why I couldn’t make the “r2” payload parameter true by default for example.

The final straw was when our own bot got IP banned by the horde because it was a public bot and had been added to a lot of servers, which we do not control. And apparently people there attempted to generate unethical images, which the horde promptly blocked. Unfortunately that meant that the bot image generation also stopped working everywhere every time this happened.

At the same time, another discord regular had not only developed their own discord bot based on the stable horde, but a whole JavaScript SDK! The bot was in fact very well developed and had most of the features of the previous stable horde bot plus a lot of new stuff like image ratings. The only thing really missing which was really important, was the ability to gift images via emojis, which was the original reason to get as discord bot in the first place 🙂

Fortunately with some convincing and plenty of kudos, zelda_fan agreed to onboard this functionality, as a few other small things that I wished for (like automated roles), and the Stable Horde Bot was reborn!

Unfortunately this did mean that all existing users were logged out and had to log in once more to be able to use the functionality, and it’s commands did change quite significantly, but those were fairly minor things.

Soon after the new bot was deployed, it was also added to the official LAION discord as well, so that their community could use it to rate images as well. I also checked and the bot has been already added to 365 different servers by now. Fortunately its demand is not quite as massive as it’s not prepared to scale quite as well as the stable horde itself.

BTW If you want to add the bot to your own discord server, you can do so by visiting this link. If you want to be able to transfer kudos, you’ll need to contact me so I onboard your emojis though. But other functionality should work.

The image ratings are flooding in!

It’s been about 2 weeks since we deployed the ratings system to gather data for LAION and once the main UIs on-boarded them, they’ve been coming in at an extraordinary pace!

So I thought I’d share some numbers.

Amount of ratings per client

count | client --------+----------------- 175060 | ArtBot 461 | Discord Bot 159 | Droom 4124 | Lucid Creations 2545 | Stable UI 9430 | Unknown
Code language: SQL (Structured Query Language) (sql)

As you can see, the Artbot ratings are crushing everything else, but to also be fair, Artbot was the first to integrate into the ratings system and is also a very popular UI. The Lucid Creations has added post-generation ratings, but not yet generic ratings. Stable UI and Discord Bot only added ratings a couple days ago. Things are about to pick up even more!

Artifacts per client

count | client -------+----------------- 15308 | ArtBot 0 | Discord Bot 0 | Droom 1073 | Lucid Creations 2550 | Stable UI 2 | Unknown (6 rows)

And we also can see how many artifact ratings each client has done. Artifacts were added only a couple days ago as well. Still ArtBot dominates, but only by a single order of magnitude instead of two 😀

Rated images count

count | ratings_count -------+--------------- 71197 | 1 7860 | 2 30140 | 3 3644 | 4 71 | 5 11 | 6 2 | 7 (7 rows) count -------- 112928 (1 row)

The amount of images which have received at least 1 ratings is very heartwarming. We have 112K images rated with at least 1 rating, of which 30K have 3 rating each!

Total ratings count

count -------- 191914 (1 row)

This is just the raw amount of ratings submitted. Almost 200K between generic ratings and post-generation ratings in ~14 days. That is ~13K ratings per day! For free! Just because people want to support something good for the commons!

This is the power of building a community around mutual aid! People love telling others what they think of their work (just see how many ratings midjourney has received) and people also love supporting an endeavour which through FOSS and transparency, ensures they are not being taken advantage to enrich a few at the top!

This is exactly what my dream was for this project. To unite a community around helping each other, instead of benefiting a corporation at the top. And it is working better than I ever expected in this short amount of time!

Y’all are awesome!

Stable Horde receives stability.ai processing power!

A week ago I mentioned that we had begun a collaboration with LAION to provide them with ratings on images. The amount of ratings we have received since then has blown away all our expectations! In just a week, you’ve all rated close to 130.000 individual images! As a comparison, the LAION-aesthetics v2, which was instrumental for training Stable Diffusion v1.x, used less than 600K rated images. We’ve reached 1/4 of that amount in a week!

Needless to say, these amounts seemed to turn some heads to the power of mutual aid provided by the stable horde, and some gears were set in motion.

LAION spoke with stability.ai directly and arranged that it would likewise benefit them to support the health of the stable horde itself. Since stability.ai is set to be the most direct beneficiaries of a better trained the laion-aesthetics v3 it makes perfect sense.

I was not privy to the discussions that happened, but I was happy to learn that Tom, the CTO of stability.ai arranged to provide us with some sponsored resources in the form of 4 VMs with RTX4000s Nvidia GPUs!

Quite surprisingly I had to deploy the VMs myself, so I crafted the most optimal setup for taking advantage of those 8Gb of VRAM through my experience with my own RTX2070. Each of them has been loaded with standard stable_diffusion 1.5 and 2.1 and each of them then has 8-10 other finetuned models to help cover the versatility provided by the Stable Horde. Granted, we are serving close to 100 different models currently, but the fact that those workers will remain running consistently 24/7, should help provide cover and allow other workers to switch to less supported models as well.

I hope this is the start of a fruitful collaboration between the stability.ai and the Stable Horde. The way I see it, the current scenario is a win-win for everyone. We get a more consistent service which allows more people to use it and makes them more likely to rate images to give back, which are then fed back to LAION and by extension stability.ai.

The Stable Horde has its first chrome extension!

About a week ago I deployed image interrogation to the stable horde, allowing low-powered GPUs and high-powered CPUs to also be able to become productive contributors on the horde and generate kudos for their owners.

A few days ago, the extension I talked about was finally released once more, relying on the Stable Horde this time: GenAlt

GenAlt is an extension that allows visually impaired people to generate alt-text for any image they encounter on the internet, giving them freer access to an area they were previously excluded. The extension’s description goes more into length about its stated purpose so I urge you to share it so that people who need it can find it

The first release of the extension was setup to automatically pick up every image displayed in the webpage and send them over to the horde for captioning it. That mean that simple scroll through twitter would lead to hundreds of images being sent to the horde for captioning per person!

That in turn led to the stable horde ending with 2000-4000 images to interrogate in its queue. Even with my own worker handling 20 threads at a time, it was just impossible to clear them all, which effectively meant the interrogation service became unusable. To top it off, as the stable horde started deleting expired interrogations, the extension received 404 responses, but unfortunately didn’t take that as a sign to abort polling for them.

At one point we had almost maxed out our available connections to each stable horde backend. But fortunately we kept chugging without much impact. It was one hell of a stress test though!

So I asked the developer to switch it to be triggered with a button or an image-hover action, which while not as user friendly, certainly wouldn’t completely flood the horde. That change (along with fixing the 404s) was finally deployed yesterday and that took care of the flooding issue.

An example of the GenAlt new trigger context menu

Now finally the horde is easily handling the captions as they trickle in at a controllable amount. The developer is planning some more updates, such as triggering it on mouse-hover instead of a specific context menu button, which is not as easy to access, and possibly we can onboard translating the captions before we send them back.

The purpose of copylefts

Cory Doctorow knocks it out of the park with another great analysis of what the recent WotC decision means for the .

This perfectly showcases what a lot of people are missing about the strengths of the licenses like GPL and Creative Commons: These licenses are not meant to protect the creator (like copyrights) they are meant to protect the user!

When I share something I made and I provide it to your as AGPL, what I am effectively saying is that I want you to use this, and not only promise not to ever take it away from you, but also explicitly legally bind myself to that extend as well!

The point is that people change and things change, but just because I changed my mind later or got greedy, shouldn’t allow me to retroactively take away ideas I’ve given away. In fact things like AGPL shouldn’t even need to exist, and all ideas should work likewise.

But as always capitalism has ruined everything to the point where we need to make exceptions to avoid the expropriation of even things like human ideas.

This is why proponents constantly harp not to trust corporate licenses like these. They are not meant to protect you, they are meant to trick you.

A collaboration begins between Stable Horde and LAION!

last week I wrote how we started creating a new dataset of stable horde images to provide to LAION. Today I am proud to announce that we have further deepened our collaboration by setting up a mechanism which will allow the Stable Horde community to contribute dataset aesthetic ratings for LAION datasets!

Me along with hlky from Sygil.dev have used the last weekend to deploy a new service which allows us to aesthetically rate images from LAION’s multiple datasets. We deployed an API and thus allowed any client to interact with it. You can read the details of how it works on the blog I linked above, so I’m not going to repeat everything.

This is exciting for me because the Stable Horde has suffered from a distinct lack of visibility. None of the major AI-focused media (newsletters, YouTubers etc) have mentioned us to date. The very first coverage we got was from a PC magazine!

All that is to say that it’s been an uphill struggle to get the Stable Horde noticed in a way that will lead to more workers which will allow us to democratize access to AI for everyone. So I am very happy to pivot the amazing stable horde community in such a positive work which will bring more attention to what we’re trying to achieve.

We are still hard at work tweaking the information we store for each rating. For example we store the amount of images they had generated at the time of the rating, which will allow researches to filter out potentially spammy users.

We are also adding more and more countermeasures, as there’s always the fear that someone will just script random ratings to get kudos. Even though the Stable Horde is free to use without kudos and even though kudos has no value, people do strange things to see “numba go up”. Now I don’t particularly care if people harvest kudos like this, but I very well do care about our ratings being poisoned by garbage.

So if you’re someone who wants to make an exploit script to harvest kudos via ratings, please just join our discord instead. The kudos flow like candy when you’re active! And you will also not be harming the AI community itself.

Already our exported dataset has grown to 80K shared images. We have 20K ratings on the LAION datasets within 2 days. For comparison some of the biggest rated datasets have just 175K ratings which were done by paid workers (and we all know how motivated they are to be accurate). Our kudos incentives and community passion to improve AI is surprising even my wildest expectations to be honest!

Here’s to making the best damn dataset that exists!

Sharing is Caring

For a while now I’ve been discussing with LAION on a way to use the power of the horde to help them in some fashion. After coordination with hlky from the Sygil.dev crew, I decided to provide an opt-in mechanism for people to store their text2img stable diffusion generations in an alternative storage bucket. This bucket in turn will be provided to LAION so that they can use it for aesthetic training, or for other similar purposes.

So today I finally released this new mode. For clients it’s a simple flag during the payload. Set “share” to True, and your request will be uploaded to the specific storage bucket. This will also save me infrastructure costs as I will not have to pay for the storage out of my own pocket for these.

To give a further incentive for people to turn this on, and because I wanted a way to show the cost of running the horde, I have also implemented a “horde tax” kudos burn. Every time you generate an image, the overall kudos cost is then increased by 3. This signifies the overall resource cost of passing through the horde, such as bandwidth, i/o and storage. However, if you opt to turn on the sharing switch, the overall “tax” is just +1 kudos.

You might ask, why not make the cost proportional to the overall kudos cost. Something like +30%/+10%. The reason is that the overall kudos cost is dependent on how difficult it is for the workers to generate that image. From the perspective of the horde, a 512x512x50 image is not much different from a 1024x1024x300 image, even though the latter would take an order of magnitude more time to generate.

In fact, many small requests are technically worse for the horde infrastructure costs, than a few small ones. It’s not that I want to discourage the small ones though, because they are actually good for the horde workers (and thus the overall generation speed). Therefore the “tax” is fairly trivial in the grand scheme of things. Just a bit of extra “burn”.

One important thing to note however, is that anonymous accounts image generations are always shared. This is part of my general strategy where I want to discourage anonymous use of the horde. It just more difficult to manage the load when people are using it like that. This is why anonymous has the lowest priority and the most restrictions. And now they will always help provide data to LAION as well.

Finally, img2img and inpainting requests are never shared. This is because those are based on existing images and I cannot know if someone used some personal photo at low strength or something. So I prefer to err on the side of caution.

This is not the last support the AI Horde plans to give to LAION either. We are already working on new features like an aesthetic rating trainer and so on. I hope this sort of assistance can be put to good use for the benefit of all humanity!

AI Spam?

I wonder what effect generated text like will have on internet spam. Until now, our anti-spam filters were trained heuristically to try and recognize typical spam patterns, but now spammers could turn into AI models to generate unique text to mask their spammy messages on emails, social media and blogs. Imagine spam links wrapped in elaborate text about any subject you can conceive of. And if the site link behind it is novel each time, it will be increasingly unfeasible for administrators to figure it out.

Not only that, but a lot of sites use minimum active account life to figure out which accounts could be spam. Such accounts are marked based on site interaction and ratings which either forced spammers to buy account, or set up spam farms with people doing nothing but interacting natively on social media until their account was live long enough so that it could bypass spam filter.

Now spammers can simply plug an text AI behind each account and have it run on autopilot for a few months, until they flip on its spam switch, and it transparently starts peppering spam links in its normal posts, which would make the switch almost indistinguishable unless it posts a well known spam site or something. They could even target specific subreddits and train finetuned generative models on the typical posts of users in there, which will even make it fits the typical subreddit pattern extremely well.

I also expect anti-spam to turn into their own AI models to catch them, but I wonder how much this countermeasures can help. It could be that a model could be trained to figure spam patterns a human cannot distinguish, but I’m curious to see how effective it could be. I suspect an easier solution would be to have an AI check the site behind each link and try to figure out if it’s a spam site or not, based on heuristics a human might take too long to figure out.

I have the feeling however that ultimately this is a battle that countermeasure AI is bound to lose. And if that happens, it will start leading to what I suspect will be a internet-wide dissolution of anonymous trust. But I will write about that in a latter post.

The AI Horde Worker has a control UI

Another great update has landed now that the AI Horde Worker is in its own repository, a Web UI built with Gradio! All kudos to ResidentChief who has been doing amazing work for the horde lately!

The new WebUI is completely optional and it can run alongside either the Stable Horde worker or the interrogation Worker, allowing you to tweak their settings on the fly through a very simple interface. This should make it significantly easier for people to adjust their settings.

It still needs some work (I would like some information popups for each feature), but this should work for now. Soon we’ll add things like worker control (maintenance on/off etc) as well as user information and stats.

To run the new worker, simply call bridge-webui.cmd/sh

This should also nicely allow someone to update their bridge setting while sitting on their couch and AFK. Maybe we can add to it things like bridge control, allowing it to start/stop the worker through it. Many exciting possibilities!