Facebook may have stopped listening to and transcribing Messenger voice chats, but it still needs voice recordings to improve its speech recognition technology. So the company is going to pay select users to record snippets of audio through a new program called "Pronunciations," The Verge reports. In exchange, users can earn up to $5.
Facebook will use its Viewpoints market research app, through which it has paid users to take surveys. Qualifying users will be asked to record the phrase "Hey Portal" followed by the first name of a friend in their friend list. If you participate, you'll have to repeat the statement twice and do this with a set of 10 names in order to earn 200 points in the Viewpoints app. You have to earn 1,000 points to cash out, but you can record up to five sets of recordings to reach that threshold. That translates to $5, so each recording is worth five cents.
While you're not going to get rich from the program, this is an interesting way for Facebook to improve its AI transcription skills without using your voice messages behind your back. Apple and Google have paused their audio transcription programs, and Amazon now lets users opt-out of audio recording "review." But none of these companies seem to be offering cash in exchange for audio. Google does pay some users to take surveys, so it wouldn't be too shocking if the company followed Facebook's lead on this.