Meta ‘discussed buying publisher Simon & Schuster to train AI’

Audio shared with the New York Times appears to record executives discussing purchase of the US books giant to feed into its large language models

Staff at technology company Meta discussed buying publishing house Simon & Schuster last year in order to procure books to train the company’s artificial intelligence tools, it has been reported.

According to recordings of internal meetings shared with the New York Times, managers, lawyers and engineers at Meta met on a near-daily basis between March and April 2023 to discuss how it could get hold of more data to train AI models. From the recordings, which were shared by an employee of the Mark Zuckerberg-owned company that owns Facebook and Instagram, the New York Times found that staff had discussed buying Simon & Schuster and some had debated paying $10 per book for the licensing rights to new titles.

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