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Facebook logo. Photo: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Facebook is offering users up to $5 via PayPal to record themselves saying "Hey Portal" and then list the first names of no more than 10 Facebook friends, The Verge reports and Axios has confirmed.

The big picture: Facebook is pitching users a small amount of money in exchange for personal data to train its speech recognition tech after reports that it and other Big Tech companiesGoogle, Apple, Microsoft, and Amazon — have listened to their users for that reason without consent.

How it works: People can opt-out of the Pronunciation program — offered through the site's recently launched market research app — at any time, Facebook spokesperson Catherine Anderson told Axios.

  • By using the recordings to train AI that powers speech recognition and transcription in Facebook products — like Portal, Siri and Messenger — Facebook can better understand how names and other words are pronounced, she said.

Details: To record yourself, you must be over 18, living in the U.S. and have more than 75 Facebook friends, per the Verge.

  • The company says that users' collected voice recordings will not be connected to Facebook profiles, and activity gathered in its market research app will not be shared on Facebook or its other services without permission, the Verge reports.

Go deeper: What Facebook knows about you

Editor's note: This story has been updated to include confirmation and comments from Facebook.

Go deeper

4 mins ago - Health

A safe, sane survival guide

Photo: Luka Dakskobler/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

We all know, it’s getting worse.

Reality check: Here are a few things every one of us can do to stay safe and sane in coming months:

Biden’s nightmare debut

President-elect Biden speaks in Wilmington on Nov. 24. Photo: Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images

A dim, gloomy scene seems increasingly set for Joe Biden's debut as president.

The state of play: He'll address — virtually — a virus-weary nation, with record-high daily coronavirus deaths, a flu season near its peak, restaurants and small businesses shuttered by wintertime sickness and spread.

Using apps to prevent deadly police encounters

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Mobile phone apps are evolving in ways that can stop rather than simply document deadly police encounters with people of color — including notifying family and lawyers about potential violations in real time.

Why it matters: As states and cities face pressure to reform excessive force policies, apps that monitor police are becoming more interactive, gathering evidence against rogue officers as well as posting social media videos to shame the agencies.

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