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Facebook paid individuals to transcribe Messenger voice chats

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Add Facebook to the list of tech firms who’ve stopped their audio interpretations over privacy concerns. The organization affirmed to Bloomberg that contractors had been transcribing Messenger voice chats to decide whether AI had effectively deciphered the messages, yet that it had “paused” the practice over seven days prior in the wake of stresses over other organizations’ transcription policies. The data was anonymized and came exclusively from individuals who’d volunteered for transcriptions, Facebook included.

The issue, as indicated by Bloomberg’s sources, is the absence of transparency. Contractors from TaskUs purportedly weren’t told where the audio originated from or why they were deciphering it. That led a portion of the laborers to believe their work was “unethical,” particularly when a portion of the discussions included obscene material. Facebook’s data privacy policy additionally doesn’t clarify that people may monitor content.

It’s not astonishing that Facebook would have frozen transcriptions, at any rate. Similarly, as with voice assistants, there’s a dread that staff may tune in to delicate data and conceivably misuse that for their very own closures. The organization has long needed to fight with charges of listening in on phones to target advertisements – Messenger transcriptions weren’t going to help with public perception. What’s more, when Facebook just barely got a $5 billion FTC fine for privacy violations, it likely would not like to hazard further government scrutiny.

The challenge is to balance privacy with technical needs. AI transcription still has a great deal of opportunity to get better, and it’s hard to help accuracy without good examples. On the off chance that Facebook needs to permanently end its interpretation program, it might need to either scramble for a viable option in contrast to improving the AI or else accept that its accuracy may stay comparable for quite a while.

Gabriel Fetterman

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