Reddit is reportedly selling data for AI training

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Reddit has negotiated a content licensing deal to allow its data to be used for training AI models, according to a Bloomberg report.

Just ahead of a potential $5 billion initial public offering (IPO) debut in March, Reddit has reportedly signed a $60 million deal with an undisclosed major AI company. This move could be seen as a last-minute effort to showcase potential revenue streams in the rapidly growing AI industry to prospective investors.

Although Reddit has yet to confirm the deal, the decision could have significant implications. If true, it would mean that Reddit’s vast trove of user-generated content – including posts from popular subreddits, comments from both prominent and obscure users, and discussions on a wide range of topics – could be used to train and enhance existing large language models (LLMs) or provide the foundation for the development of new generative AI systems.

However, this decision by Reddit may not sit well with its user base, as the company has faced increasing opposition from its community regarding its recent business decisions.

Last year, when Reddit announced plans to start charging for access to its application programming interfaces (APIs), thousands of Reddit forums temporarily shut down in protest. Days later, a group of Reddit hackers threatened to release previously stolen site data unless the company reversed the API plan or paid a ransom of $4.5 million.

Reddit has recently made other controversial decisions, such as removing years of private chat logs and messages from users’ accounts. The platform also implemented new automatic moderation features and removed the option for users to turn off personalised advertising, fuelling additional discontent among its users.

This latest reported deal to sell Reddit’s data for AI training could generate even more backlash from users, as the debate over the ethics of using public data, art, and other human-created content to train AI systems continues to intensify across various industries and platforms.

(Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash)

See also: Amazon trains 980M parameter LLM with ’emergent abilities’

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