Meta Platforms recently confirmed using public Facebook and Instagram posts to train its new Meta AI virtual assistant. The objective was clear: to enhance the performance of AI and machine learning systems by studying real user behavior and preferences.
'It has been difficult toexcluding datasets with a heavy preponderance of personal information,' said Nick Clegg, Meta's president of global affairs. The majority of the dataset was publicly available, Clegg said, but didn't clarification whether the remaining material needed to complete the dataset was private, confidential data.
We've tried toexclude datasets that have a heavy preponderance of personal information, Clegg said, citing LinkedIn as an example of a social network that Meta avoided because of privacy concerns.
The focus on artificial intelligence was palpable at the Connect conference last week. MetaAI, an AI assistant with a broad range of personalities and functions, is capable of revolutionizing interactions through voice, text, and gestures.
Another significant breakthrough was a collaboration between eyewear brand Ray-Ban, resulting in smart glasses integrated with MetaAI along with other AI-powered tools that will be integrated into Meta's social media apps.
Tech firms have spent a lot of time mining users' data to feed recommendations. Beyond Meta, platforms like Spotify utilize listening habits to curate music suggestions, while Netflix utilizes viewing patterns to recommend shows and movies. To customize news feeds, social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram analyze user interactions. When processing algorithms with AI, you are the product is more visible than ever.
On the other side of the spectrum, some platforms have opted for a system that gives users control over their information. While Amazon has always believed that training Alexa with real-world requests is essential to delivering an experience to customers that's accurate and personalized and constantly getting better, its users have the option to prevent the company from training its model on their data, said a Amazon spokeswoman.
OpenAI has also taken this approach. Artists who don't want their work to be ingested for training the company's models may choose to opt-out, but the process is so onerous that some consider it enraging. Art artists must file separate requests for each of their works, making it challenging to choose if you're an artist like Greg Rutkowski with hundreds of paintings.
The importance of user data in shaping these experiences cannot be understated. Meta and its tech peers must contend with groundbreaking technological advancements and the sanctity of user privacy.
The next time you share a post or ask Alexa a question, there's a possibility you're training the next generation of AI.