microsoft temporarily blocked employee access to OpenAI's ChatGPT due to security concerns. The move was initially reported by CNBC, and it caused a brief restriction on corporate devices, preventing them from accessing ChatGPT and other AI services such as Midjourney, Replika, and Canva.
Managing the Implications of ChatGPT's Security Vulnerabilities
Microsoft cited “security and data concerns” as the reason behind the restriction, emphasizing that ChatGPT is a third-party external service, urging caution regarding privacy and security risks. However, the restriction was short-lived, and Microsoft quickly restored access, attributing it to a mistake during the testing of control systems for large language models.
This development raised eyebrows as Microsoft has invested billions in OpenAI and has a close partnership with the company. Microsoft has incorporated OpenAI's AI models into its products, such as Bing Chat and Bing Image Creator.
ChatGPT has gained popularity with over 100 million users, but its use has faced scrutiny due to concerns about sharing confidential information. Several other tech companies, including samsung, Amazon, and apple, have also banned or restricted employee access to ChatGPT over data security concerns.
Despite this temporary setback, Microsoft continues to support ChatGPT, and a Microsoft spokesperson later provided clarification to CNBC, stating, “We were testing endpoint control systems for LLMs and inadvertently turned them on for all employees. We restored service shortly after we identified our error. As we have said previously, we encourage employees and customers to use services like Bing Chat Enterprise and ChatGPT Enterprise that come with greater levels of privacy and security protections.”
The incident underscores the ongoing challenges in balancing the potential benefits of AI models like ChatGPT with the need to address security and privacy concerns, especially in corporate settings.
It was a busy week for OpenAI too as they unveiled its latest AI model, GPT-4 Turbo, with improved knowledge up to April 2023 and the ability to handle much larger inputs. The company is also reducing prices for developers using its AI models.
OpenAI now allows users to create custom chatbots with no coding required, expanding the reach of personalized AI chatbots. They are introducing the GPT Store, allowing creators to share and potentially earn money from their custom chatbots. OpenAI has streamlined its AI tools into one place, simplifying the user experience. Additionally, OpenAI will defend its customers in legal claims related to copyright infringement.