Zoom Can Now Use Your Content to Train Its AI…And You’re Not Allowed to Opt Out

This article from StackDiary was passed to me by a longtime Stenonymous reader. This paragraph captured it all for me.

StackDiary post claims Zoom’s updated terms of service allow for the company to use users’ data without an opt-out option.

This has me thinking about the captioners. If you are feeding captions through Zoom, can it be used by the company to train AI to do what you do? In recent years, I am a skeptic that believes it may be impossible for AI to reach the levels of accuracy of a qualified captioner. But the possibility is there, and it already has one New York business owner talking. When asked about it, Joshua Edwards, co-owner of StenoCaptions LLC, said “Wendy and I, co-owners at StenoCaptions LLC, are already talking about not working in Zoom anymore. As highly trained stenographers who are committed to excellence, we’re not going to train our replacement.”

I also reached out to Norma Miller from White Coat Captioning. “I’m told that they have backed off on this already late [Monday] following the huge backlash online. However, my trust in them has been irreparably damaged, so I will not be backing down from my company’s official policy, a copy of which is attached. It will be a minor inconvenience to some clients if they choose to continue using Zoom, but it is the best solution we have available to us at this time, and it works really well.”

As for the attached policy, take a look.

Official policy of White Coat Captioning regarding Zoom’s change in policy, which allowed no opt-out option.

I’m hopeful to get the discussion rolling. Blog posts with pictures get a lot more attention, so I picked out one that I hope helps bring attention to this important issue.

Stenonymous versus AI at Stenonymous.com


After this post went live I was sent information by an accessibility advocate I follow on Twitter. It appears that the platform will not use “chat” content to change its AI. Big thanks to Meryl Evans.

(Meryl on LinkedIn)

The National Court Reporters Association later made a Facebook post on this topic.

Leave a Reply