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Is Zoom training AI with your private calls? Here’s what we know.

The Army's artificial intelligence software prototype designed to quickly identify threats through a range of battlefield data and satellite imagery. (Photo Screenshot image/US Army)
August 10, 2023

The popular video communication platform Zoom recently updated its terms of service, sparking concerns over the tech company’s use of private data for A.I. training.

The new terms of service quickly spread on social media, with many suggesting the terms indicate users’ audio, face and facial movements will be used to train artificial intelligence.

In an email to American Military News, a Zoom spokesperson clarified the company’s policy on artificial intelligence:

“Zoom customers decide whether to enable generative AI features, and separately whether to share customer content with Zoom for product improvement purposes. We’ve updated our terms of service to further confirm that we will not use audio, video, or chat customer content to train our artificial intelligence models without your consent.”

Zoom also updated a recent blog post in response to the confused backlash, writing that the company “will not use customer content, including education records or protected health information, to train our artificial intelligence models without your consent.”

“We routinely enter into student data protection agreements with our education customers and legally required business associate agreements (BAA) with our healthcare customers. Our practices and handling of education records, pupil data, and protected healthcare data are controlled by these separate terms and applicable laws,” the blog post added.

The use of artificial intelligence exploded this year, with individuals, companies and even the United States military expanding their use of AI.

According to Bloomberg, U.S. Air Force Col. Matthew Strohmeyer said the Air Force has successfully executed a large-language model experiment with artificial intelligence for the first time, after years of using only data-based exercises with artificial intelligence under the U.S. Department of Defense. 

“It was highly successful,” he said. “It was very fast. We are learning that this is possible for us to do.”

Large-language models (LLMs) utilize large amounts of information from the internet to enable artificial intelligence to predict and generate responses to specific prompts from users. LLMs are similar to generative AI platforms, such as Google’s Bard and ChatGPT.