X modifies policy to utilize user content for AI Training
The updated policy, set to be effective from September 29, states that X "may use the information we collect and publicly available information to help train our machine learning or artificial intelligence models for the purposes outlined in this policy." This is a departure from its previous terms, which did not include such provisions.
Elon Musk, in response to the buzz around this change, clarified on X that only publicly available data would be used for this purpose, ensuring that private messages (DMs) would remain untouched. This aligns with his statement from a live audio session in July, where he mentioned that his AI startup, xAI, would utilize public data from X for training its AI models.
Interestingly, while X itself hasn't publicly announced any AI-driven ambitions, Musk's endeavors in the AI space are well-known. His recent launch of xAI, with its mission to "understand the true nature of the universe," suggests a potential synergy between X and xAI. This is further supported by text on the xAI homepage, which mentions collaboration with X, among other companies, to progress towards their mission.
Musk's stance on AI has been a mix of advocacy and caution. While he backed OpenAI in its early days and played a pivotal role in its inception, he has also expressed concerns about the unchecked growth of AI, even going as far as signing a letter calling for a pause on training powerful AI systems.
The broader tech landscape is witnessing a scramble for data to train generative AI models. Platforms like Reddit and The New York Times are either monetizing their data or blocking access to AI companies. With the vast user-generated content on social media platforms, companies like X and Meta are sitting on potential gold mines for AI training. Meta, for instance, has given its users an option to opt-out of sharing their data for AI training, though the effectiveness of this opt-out remains under scrutiny.
While the exact implications of X's policy change remain to be seen, it's clear that the intersection of social media and AI is becoming increasingly intricate. As platforms seek to harness user data for AI advancements, the debate around privacy, user consent, and the ethical use of data is set to intensify.