How would you feel if your social media posts were used to train a virtual assistant without your consent? That is exactly what is happening to millions of people who belong to Facebook and Instagram.
Meta, the parent company of Facebook, admits that it is using public posts from both Instagram and Facebook members to train its new artificial intelligence assistant, Meta AI.
Meta admits to using your posts to train its AI. (Meta)
What is Meta AI?
So, exactly what is Meta AI? It is a conversational assistant that can respond to text queries and generate photorealistic images from text prompts. It is available in beta on WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram and is coming soon to Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses and Quest 3. Meta AI is powered by generative technologies such as Llama 2 and Emu, which are capable of creating text and images from large datasets.
Meta AI is a conversational assistant. (Meta)
What content is Meta using from public posts to train its AI?
According to Nick Clegg, Meta’s president of global affairs, the tech giant is using both text and photos from public posts from people’s Instagram and Facebook to train Meta AI. He says the posts are selected based on their popularity and engagement and that they are stripped of any personal details before being fed to the AI system. He also says Meta has built safeguards into Meta AI to prevent misuse and abuse, such as filtering out harmful or offensive content.
Concerns over privacy and ethical implications
Some of the people who use the platforms have raised concerns about the privacy and ethical implications of using their public posts to train Meta AI. They argue that Meta did not obtain explicit consent from them to use their posts and that they have not been made aware of how their data is being used.
They also question whether Meta has done enough to ensure that Meta AI does not generate harmful or misleading content or infringe on the intellectual property rights of their original content.
Meta did not obtain explicit consent to use Meta user’s posts. (CyberGuy.com)
Meta’s AI raises more questions than answers
Meta has not disclosed how many posts it has used to train Meta AI or how it plans to inform the members whose posts are used. It has also not revealed how it will handle requests from members who want to opt out of having their posts used for AI training. Meta has said that it will continue to use public posts to improve Meta AI, as well as other AI features such as AI stickers, restyle and backdrop.
Meta has not yet released whose posts have been used to train its AI. (Meta)
Kurt’s key takeaways
Meta’s AI assistant is trained on public posts from Instagram and Facebook. This raises serious questions about the privacy and consent of the members who created those posts. Meta should be more transparent and accountable about how it uses and protects the data of its members and respect their rights and preferences as the original creators.
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Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson is an award-winning tech journalist who has a deep love of technology, gear and gadgets that make life better with his contributions for Fox News & FOX Business beginning mornings on “FOX & Friends.” Got a tech question? Get Kurt’s CyberGuy Newsletter, share your voice, a story idea or comment at CyberGuy.com.