Microsoft is making the news for hiring humans to listen to conversations. This time, Vice has revealed that the company’s contractors listened to Xbox conversations too, all in the name of improving the console’s AI capabilities.
Contractors told Vice that, though the conversations were meant to be recorded following commands such as “Hey Cortana” or “Xbox”, some were recorded accidentally and not relevant to the AI-improving practice.
“Xbox commands came up first as a bit of an outlier and then became about half of what we did before becoming most of what we did,” a contractor told the publication.
The recordings were accessed through Xbox’s Kinect back in 2014, and more recently through Cortana.
Cortana is, however, no longer available on Xbox and Microsoft confirmed that it “recently” seized listening to Xbox audio altogether.
The news brings Xbox into the mix of Microsoft’s Skype and Cortana eavesdropping practices.