AI trained on photos from kids’ entire childhood without their consent

submitted by along_the_road

arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2024/06/ai-trained-…

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Photos of Brazilian kids—sometimes spanning their entire childhood—have been used without their consent to power AI tools, including popular image generators like Stable Diffusion, Human Rights Watch (HRW) warned on Monday.

The dataset does not contain the actual photos but includes image-text pairs derived from 5.85 billion images and captions posted online since 2008.

HRW's report warned that the removed links are "likely to be a significant undercount of the total amount of children’s personal data that exists in LAION-5B."

Han told Ars that "Common Crawl should stop scraping children’s personal data, given the privacy risks involved and the potential for new forms of misuse."

There is less risk that the Brazilian kids' photos are currently powering AI tools since "all publicly available versions of LAION-5B were taken down" in December, Tyler told Ars.

That decision came out of an "abundance of caution" after a Stanford University report "found links in the dataset pointing to illegal content on the public web," Tyler said, including 3,226 suspected instances of child sexual abuse material.


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28 Comments

Fapper_McFapper

I’m so tired of AI.

criitz

Too bad, it's here forever...

remotelove

It's been around for a while. It's the fluff and the parlor tricks that need to die. AI has never been magic and it's still a long way off before it's actually intelligent.

frog 🐸 , edited

The other thing that needs to die is hoovering up all data to train AIs without the consent and compensation to the owners of the data. Most of the more frivolous uses of AI would disappear at that point, because they would be non-viable financially.

Even_Adder , edited

Cory Doctorow wrote a good article about this a little while back.

frog 🐸

I remember reading that a little while back. I definitely agree that the solution isn't extending copyright, but extending labour laws on a sector-wide basis. Because this is the ultimate problem with AI: the economic benefits are only going to a small handful, while everybody else loses out because of increased financial and employment insecurity.

So the question that comes to mind is exactly how, on a practical level, it would work to make sure that when a company scrapes data, trains and AI, and then makes billions of dollars, the thousands or millions of people who created the data all get a cut after the fact. Because particularly in the creative sector, a lot of people are freelancers who don't have a specific employer they can go after. From a purely practical perspective, paying artists *before* the data is used makes sure all those freelancers get paid. Waiting until the company makes a profit, taxing it out of them, and then distributing it to artists doesn't seem practical to me.

DdCno1

It could be regulated into oblivion, to the point that any commercial use of it (and even non-commercial publication of AI generated material) becomes a massive legal liability, despite the fact that AI tools like Stable Diffusion can not be taken away. It's not entirely unlikely that some countries will try to do this in the future, especially places with strong privacy and IP laws as well as equally strong laws protecting workers. Germany and France come to mind, which together could push the EU to come down hard on large AI services in particular. This could make the recently adopted EU AI Act look harmless by comparison.

Catsrules

AI will remember that.

Peter Bronez

@along_the_road

“These were mostly family photos uploaded to personal and parenting blogs […] as well as stills from YouTube videos"

So… people posted photos of their kids on public websites, common crawl scraped them, LAION-5B cleaned it up for training, and now there are models. This doesn’t seem evil to me… digital commons working as intended.

If anyone is surprised, the fault lies with the UX around “private URL” sharing, not devs using Common Crawl

#commoncrawl #AI #laiondatabase

wagoner

Doesn't Digital Commons mean common ownership? A personal blog of family photos inherently owned by that photographer are surely not commonly owned. I see this as problematic.

Peter Bronez

@along_the_road what’s the alternative scenario here?

You could push to remove some public information from common crawl. How do you identify what public data is _unintentionally_ public?

Assume we solve that problem. Now the open datasets and models developed on them are weaker. They’re specifically weaker at identifying children as things that exist in the world. Do we want that? What if it reduces the performance of cars’ emergency breaking systems? CSAM filters? Family photo organization?

kent_eh

what’s the alternative scenario here?

Parents could *not* upload pictures of their kids everywhere in a vain attempt to attract attention to themselves?

That would be good.

eveninghere

Did we ever agree on AI training with our Reddit comments btw