Science&Tech Facebook hired outsource workers to make transcripts of your voice chats By WeeklyNews staff Posted on August 14, 2019 2 min read Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google+ Facebook has hired people from outside to write and check transcripts of audio clips in Messenger. This happened in certain cases without the participants in the conversation being aware of this. Facebook says that it has since stopped. Bloomberg reports this based on sources and Facebook has confirmed to the news agency that it stopped this practice more than a week ago. According to Facebook, only transcripts were made of voice recordings from users who checked this option in the Messenger app. This option is disabled by default, but if a user chooses to enable it, this speech-to-text feature also immediately applies to all conversation participants, regardless of whether they have all agreed to the transcripts. The messages would have been anonymous and hired Facebook employees would have done this to check whether artificial intelligence has correctly converted speech into text. Facebook says it uses machine learning for this and reports that the more users use the function, “the more Speech to Text can help you.” According to Facebook, the function does not work in secret conversations. When reporting that it has since stopped transcribing the sound clips, Facebook also refers to Apple and Google and says that it is like these companies that people have paused auditing audio clips. At Apple and Google, incidentally, it was about listening to audio recordings from the voice assistants, namely Siri and Assistant. Facebook has not said it will definitively stop hiring people to check and unsubscribe the audio from Messenger users.