WordPress and Tumblr will sell user data to train artificial intelligence models

Wordpress and Tumblr will sell user data to train artificial.webp

Automattic, the parent company of Tumblr and WordPress, has struck a deal to sell user data to train artificial intelligence (AI) models.

Transaction detected 404 mediatech news site obtains internal documents showing pending data sales with companies such as Midjourney and OpenAI.

404media claims that a new regulation will be introduced today that will “allow users to opt out of sharing data with third parties, including AI companies.”

How Automattic Plans to Use AI

Automattic has a announcement on their website which is titled “Protecting User Choice” and it details the company's stance on AI.

“AI is rapidly transforming nearly every aspect of our world, including how we create and consume content,” the statement said. “At Automattic, we've always believed in a free and open network and individual choice. Like other technology companies, we are closely monitoring these developments, including how to work with AI companies in a way that respects the preferences of our users.”

The company also notes that it currently blocks artificial intelligence crawlers and search engine indexing sites to keep user posts out of their sight unless the user has consented to this content being published.

Automattic will also openly discuss their work with third parties, saying “we also work directly with select AI companies as long as their plans are aligned with issues our community cares about: attribution, opt-out and control.”

“Our partnerships will honor all opt-out settings,” AI said in a statement. “We also plan to take that a step further and regularly update all partners on people who have recently opted out and asked to have their content removed from past sources and future training.”

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So the deal with the AI ​​companies and the specific impacts on user data remains to be seen, but the correlation between the 404media report and this public announcement suggests that Automattic is already considering the implications of public information and artificial intelligence.

Why do AI companies want access to user data?

AI companies and their complex algorithms need a source of data to essentially “train” themselves on a particular or specific topic.

The better the data feeding these training models, the more accurate the output will be in theory. So, for example, an artificial intelligence model that can access only limited data will have limited authority on a particular topic.

Hindering the regulation of AI, which has been a fairly lawless environment, means that more deals need to be made with companies that have access to these data sets to best return the AI ​​demand. It also means that owners of learning models don't violate the legal side of data copyright, and those who own platforms like Tumblr and WordPress get something back for accessing user data.

Featured image: DALL-E

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Brian-Damien Morgan

Freelance journalist

Brian-Damien Morganis is an award-winning journalist and writer. He was fortunate to work in print for many UK newspapers before embarking on a successful career as a digital broadcaster and specialist. His work has spanned the UK's public and private media sectors for nearly two decades. Since 2007, Brian has continued to add to a long list of publications and institutions, most notably as editor of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, winning numerous awards for his writing and digital broadcasting efforts. Brian will then continue to be an integral part of the Scottish Government's Heritage 2014 Media and Sport Directorate. Working with ministers to make a difference through sport with institutions such as the Homeless World Cup. He will then transfer his skills to many institutions in the private sector. Brian will gain national recognition for helping his country provide judicial education and outreach during the pandemic. Earning the personal title of Lord President of Scotland for his efforts as Head of Communications and Digital at the Scottish Courts Office. Brian is back to what he loves most, writing and commenting on developments in technology, gaming and legal topics, as well as anything and everything sports related.

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