AI News, Facebook workers listened to Messenger conversations ... artificial intelligence

Facebook is betting the next big interface is conversation

And one of the most hyped ones was Facebook’s M, which the company meant to be a flexible, general-purpose bot that could do lots of different things such as purchase items, arrange gift deliveries, reserve restaurant tables, and plan travel. But the buzz was far bigger than the bot.

Before M ever left beta, Facebook curtailed its grand plan for the bot, though some of its natural-language technology found its way into far less daring Messenger chatbots that could do single, simple things like take food orders or give out Q&A information.

AI concierge is dead, long live M But Facebook’s AI research group has moved on from that sort of single-minded chatbot. “What we’ve been saying over the past three to four years is that research on goal-oriented dialog is not the path we need to explore, because it’s too hard, the stakes are too high,”

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Every Facebook Messenger User Should Be Paying Attention To The Company’s Recent Audio Scandal - AfroTech

This isn’t the first time that a company has been exposed for allowing contractors to transcribe users’ audio without obtaining permission.

So, what’s shocking isn’t necessarily how the systems work, but the fact that companies never bothered to disclose it to users.  “Would as many people have bought these products if they knew that Romanian contract workers would listen to them, even if they didn’t deliberately trigger their devices?” Atlantic Staff Writer Sidney Fussell wrote, posing a question that should be more central to the conversation.