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Facebook will pay users to improve its speech recognition

Last year, Facebook abandoned its practice of listening to Messenger audio chats in order to improve its AI speech recognition. Now, instead, it has a new model that requires users’ active consent and involvement – and they’ll even pay you for the help (though not very much.)

The Verge reports that selected users will be asked to record short phrases via its Viewpoints market research app. If you qualify, you’ll have all the fun of saying “Hey Portal” and then the name of a contact from your Facebook friends list. Apparently you’ll be able to do this with the names of up to ten friends, and you’ll have to do each one twice.

Related: How to delete Facebook

So how much will you be paid for your labour? Well, this isn’t a gateway to big money voice-over work, let’s just put it like that. 

A set of ten names will earn you 200 points in the Viewpoints app, which translates to $1 or five cents per audio snippet. Worse, you won’t be able to withdraw that hard-earned dollar right away, because you need to hit 1000 points ($5) before you get that luxury. Best not to give up the day job, in other words.

Related: Facebook privacy settings you should change today

Still, it’s not a way for Facebook to learn anything about you directly. The company says that voice recordings aren’t connected to Facebook profiles, and Viewpoints activity isn’t shared with any Facebook services without your explicit permission. It’s not clear how that’s possible given you have to read out names of your real-life Facebook friends, but there we are. 

If the low pay doesn’t put you off, then you may as well download the Viewpoints app and see if you get picked by the company. You need to be in the USA, be aged 18 or over and have more than 75 Facebook friends to qualify, mind.

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