January 19, 2024

This message is distributed to Academic Department Chairs & Deans, All Instructors, Non-Senate Academics, Academic Student Employees, Graduate Student Researchers, Academic Assistant Deans, and Academic Business Officers & ASC Directors.  (Click here to view description of distribution groups.)  

The following is being sent on behalf of Josh Bright, Associate Vice Chancellor for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer and Joseph Incandela, Vice Chancellor for Research.

UC Santa Barbara Faculty and Researchers,

The UC Office of the President has directed all UC locations to remove the LAION-5B dataset from all campus devices and networks as it may contain illegal links or images. The Large-scale Artificial Intelligence Open Network (LAION) is a non-profit that creates open-source machine learning tools frequently used by Artificial Intelligence (AI) researchers for the purpose of training AI models.

Researchers who have downloaded any LAION datasets, including LAION-5B or the smaller LAION-400M, are asked to immediately contact Michael Colee mtc@ucsb.edu to facilitate the safe and secure removal of this data from all devices and networks. This includes any faculty, staff, post-doctorates, or students who may have downloaded this data set.

Please do not attempt to further access, delete, or modify any data or work with any LAION datasets before contacting Michael Colee. Researchers are advised to refrain from any further use of these datasets until campus IT staff can complete secure deletion.

Thank you for your cooperation and attention to this matter.