Facebook to pay for user’s voice recordings

Late last year, Facebook was caught listening to and transcribing private Messenger chats to improve it’s speech recognition software.

The platform now says it will pay up to $5, via Paypal, for different voice recordings.  In a program called ‘Pronunciations’, participants will be paid to use the company’s market research app Viewpoints for recording various words and phrases that the company will then leverage to train its speech recognition AI.

That voice data will be used to improve products like Portal, which is Facebook’s smart display that can be used for video-calling among other things and can be activated with one’s voice.

In the plan, members, who must be at least 18 years old and be able to say, distinctly, phrases like ‘Hey Portal’ and also say the 1st names of 10 of their friends on Facebook.

Facebook says that the enterprise will never connection voice recordings with participants’ Facebook accounts or names and that the knowledge will be applied anonymously. It also states that all info gathered will be used to boost their subsidiaries and will not be offered to third parties and will not be shared with other Facebook functions or services, without consumer permission.

The program marks a departure from prior practices from Facebook which was caught harvesting and listening to voice recordings of users without their authority, and paying third parties to listen in on voice messages to ascertain whether it’s AI was interpreting the messages correctly.

Various studies in the past 12 months unveiled that Facebook was just one of numerous big tech firms partaking in that practice.  Other equipment found to be recording customers were Apple’s Homepod, Amazon’s wildly preferred good speaker, Alexa, the Google Home, and devices using Microsoft’s Cortana assistant.

Devices capturing audio snippets on a regular basis harvested information that most may take into account non-public, which include intercourse, non-public discussions, enterprise, and even health-related facts in accordance to experiences from whistle blowers.

As Oren Lyons once said : “In the absence of the sacred, nothing is sacred – everything is for sale . . . ”


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