Reddit recently disclosed that the Federal Trade Commission has launched an investigation into the platform’s activities related to the sale, licensing, or sharing of user-generated content with outside organizations for the purpose of training artificial intelligence models. In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Reddit mentioned that it had received a letter from the FTC regarding this matter.

The company acknowledged the unique and cutting-edge nature of AI technologies and commercial agreements in its filing. Reddit stated that it was not surprised by the FTC’s interest in this area, given the potential implications for consumer protection and fair competition. However, Reddit maintained that it had not engaged in any practices that could be deemed unfair or deceptive.

Like many other social media platforms, Reddit has been exploring partnerships with AI companies that involve granting access to its vast database of user-generated text. These agreements allow AI models to analyze and learn from human-written content, improving their conversational abilities, question-answering skills, and content generation capabilities. One notable deal was announced with Google, worth $60 million, aimed at leveraging AI models for enhancing Reddit’s search algorithms and other features.

The disclosure of the FTC inquiry comes at a significant time for Reddit as the company gears up for its initial public offering (IPO). The San Francisco-based platform is set to go public for the first time, with a projected valuation of up to $6.4 billion. As part of the IPO process, Reddit is under increased scrutiny to ensure transparency and adherence to regulatory standards, making the FTC investigation all the more relevant.

Reddit’s involvement in AI training practices and its cooperation with external organizations have drawn the attention of the FTC. The platform’s commitment to transparency and compliance with regulations will be critical as it moves forward with its IPO. The outcome of the FTC inquiry could impact Reddit’s reputation and business partnerships in the evolving landscape of AI technologies and data sharing.

Technology

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