Bloomberg has just revealed that Facebook had told him to have used subcontracting companies to transcribe voice chats made on his instant messaging Messenger. The social network would justify listening and writing these conversions by a desire to develop and improve its artificial intelligence system, ensuring the correct interpretation of the audio and its transcription to the writing.
Facebook made messenger voice chats listen to subcontractors
Another controversial practice that does not seem to be specific to Facebook according to Bloomberg, which announces that other large companies such as Apple and Google, Amazon or Microsoft had also used the same listening process in order to to increase the performance of their voice assistants, respectively Siri, Google Assistant, Alexa and even Skype for the optimization of machine translation. Facebook has since said it has stopped this practice: “Like Google and Apple, we ended human analysis of audio files over a week ago,” commented a spokesperson for the Mark Zuckerberg brand..
Voice chats performed in Messenger were listened to in order to improve the transcription artificial intelligence system
If Apple had for its part already claimed to have ended its program allowing its employees to listen to certain voice requests addressed to Siri, just like Google or Amazon, which have for them to cease their practice in Europe for one and installed an anti-analysis filter for the other, the listening of voice chats made by Facebook seem more opaque, knowing that the social network does not have a voice assistant in its name which could justify such a process.
Apple, Google or Amazon have also used eavesdropping to develop their voice assistants
While Facebook assures that the conversations listened to came from people who had expressed their agreement to the transcription of their voice chats in writing, no information concerning the use of these by real people was communicated, thus canceling any consent. Bloomberg also supports the fact that some of the recorded discussions referred to medical, other financial or intimate exchanges.
Facebook says it has stopped this listening practice