Facebook has hired employees from outside to deregister audio clips from users. Bloomberg reports this based on anonymous sources.
It would be about hundreds of hired employees who could listen to conversations with Facebook users. The employees were assigned sound fragments to unsubscribe without context. They allegedly came from chat service Messenger.
Facebook has confirmed to Bloomberg that fragments were indeed transcribed. "We stopped temporarily a week ago," says a spokesperson.
The employees had to check whether Facebook's artificial intelligence interpreted the messages correctly. The audio was anonymous.
Bloomberg writes that Facebook did not make it clear to users that their conversations could be processed. Some employees would therefore have found that they performed "unethical work".
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Apple and Google also participated
It was recently announced that large tech companies were hiring employees to listen to with audio clips. This involved short audio recordings of Apple's Siri, the Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.
The companies said they were doing all of this with the aim of improving the assistants. For example, they must ultimately understand voice commands better and understand the context of a command better. Although the audio should be anonymous, the information could sometimes be traced to a person because, for example, a name or address was spoken.
Google, Apple and Facebook have temporarily stopped writing audio clips. Amazon has not stopped altogether, but users can indicate that they do not want to cooperate.
See also: This is how you delete recorded voice commands from Apple, Amazon and Google