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  4. Reddit's licensing deal means Google's AI can soon be trained on the best humanity has to offer — completely unhinged posts

Reddit's licensing deal means Google's AI can soon be trained on the best humanity has to offer — completely unhinged posts

Kwan Wei Kevin Tan   

Reddit's licensing deal means Google's AI can soon be trained on the best humanity has to offer — completely unhinged posts
  • We now know what an AI trained on Twitter posts can sound like.
  • But what about a Reddit-trained one? Well, Google is about to find out.

Google is turning to an unlikely source of material to train its AI modelsReddit.

Google has signed a content licensing deal with the social media platform, Reuters reported on Wednesday, citing sources familiar with the matter. The search giant will pay Reddit $60 million a year for access to its content, per Reuters.

It's not clear at this point what part of Reddit's content Google will end up using most while training its AI. However, some Reddit users have slammed Google's deal with Reddit and accused the social network of profiting off its users' data without their consent.

And others are shuddering at the thought of how an AI trained on Reddit posts might behave.

Their concerns about what a Reddit-trained AI might be like are probably not unfounded, considering some of the off-the-rails content posts made on the site since its inception in 2005.

For starters, people have written about highly bizarre fixations they have. Take this guy, who claimed in 2014 that he was caught in a particularly Kafkaesque scenario, where he had to pretend his girlfriend was a giant cockroach named Ogtha when he made love to her. (That post was upvoted more than 5,200 times.)

Not to mention the subreddit r/AmItheAsshole, a repository of posts often involving troubling scenarios. Like this person, who wanted all the advice they could get on whether to proceed with an arranged marriage with a colleague.

There are also some Reddit posts that are darkly funny, albeit at others' expense. Like this guy's viral 2015 post on the 19-million-user strong forum r/TodayIFuckedUp, where he recounted how he went to his girlfriend's parents' home, pretended not to know what a potato was, and then got kicked out of the house by her angry father.

That said, there's also the uplifting, useful side of Reddit. Some platform users have written uplifting, inspirational posts and offered useful life and career advice.

Social media companies, overall, are proving to be ample fodder for data-hungry AI companies looking to train their models. Elon Musk, for one, has been tapping on data from X, formerly Twitter, to train his AI company's chatbot, Grok.

Representatives for Google and Reddit did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider sent outside regular business hours.


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