According to Reuters, Meta revealed late last week that it has utilized mountains of public Facebook posts to train its AI models.

Why it matters: As the AI boom continues, content creators are questioning tech companies’ usage of their material in the creation of powerful AI tools — and “content creators” means a few billion people in Facebook’s case.

Details: Following the unveiling of Meta’s new AI helpers last week, the company’s president of global affairs, Nick Clegg, told Reuters that the “vast majority” of the training data used to generate them originated from publicly available posts, including those on Facebook and Instagram.

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“We’ve tried to exclude datasets that have a heavy preponderance of personal information,” Clegg said, referring to LinkedIn data.
The big picture: A significant legal struggle is emerging between owners of intellectual content, such as books and professional media products, and AI businesses that may have used their works to train their programs intentionally or unintentionally.

Meta has always claimed a variety of rights in the content that its users publish, therefore it is legally in a different position than firms who employ copyrighted writings.
According to the firm, “you own all of the content and information” that you publish. However, if you make a post public, as many do by default, it becomes available for a variety of purposes over which you have no control.

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According to Clegg, Meta, like many other internet companies, believes its use of postings to train AI is protected by the legal notion of fair use — but he adds, “I strongly suspect that’s going to play out in litigation.”

Notable: Medium, the decade-old platform for long-form pieces, recently informed its subscribers that it will restrict OpenAI’s web crawler and reject other attempts by AI companies to harvest its content for training purposes.


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