Facebook will (sort of) pay you for your voice recordings

In order to help improve its speech recognition technology, Facebook will offer to pay some users for voice recordings. The big Silicon Valley tech companies have recently come under fire for illegally listening to and transcribing voice recordings without the user’s consent. This includes the likes of Amazon, Microsoft, Google, Apple and of course, Apple.

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A new programme called “Pronunciations” has been launched in Facebook’s research app called Viewpoints. It allows you to upload voice recordings to the app to qualify for points in the Viewpoints app.

If you qualify to take part, Facebook allows you to record the phrase “Hey Portal” followed by the name of someone in your friends list. You can then do this with the names of up to ten of your friends, which you record twice in order for the algorithm to get the best data possible.

Every time you complete a set of recordings you receive 200 points in the Viewpoints app, which can’t be cashed out until you reach 1,000 points. That total equates to a $5 reward via PayPal.

Facebook says the voice recordings users provide will not be connected to their Facebook profile and that the company doesn’t share Viewpoints activity on Facebook or other Facebook-owned services without permission.

You have to have more than 75 Facebook friends and be over 18 years old in order to take part in the Pronunciations programme. For now, only users in the United States of America can look to take part. It isn’t clear when Facebook will open up the programme to other countries to train the voice recognition models with different accents.

The company has said that if and when it becomes available to you, you won’t need to update the app. It will automatically notify you once you can use it.

Would you consider selling your voice data to a company like Facebook? Let us know in the comments below.