AI is just someone else’s computer


Samsung this week became the latest big name to ban its employees from using generative AI tools such as ChatGPT and Google Bard, warning staff that they could be fired if they’re caught using them.

In an internal memo obtained by Bloomberg, Samsung said the ban was prompted by the discovery of a leak of sensitive internal source code by an engineer who uploaded it to ChatGPT last month. According to earlier reports, one Samsung employee reportedly asked the chatbot to check sensitive database source code for errors, while another fed a recorded meeting into ChatGPT and asked it to generate minutes.

The Korean tech giant is the latest company to crack down on the use of ChatGPT. American banking giant JPMorgan recently restricted its use among employees due to compliance concerns, and Amazon has reportedly urged staff not to share code with the AI chatbot. Verizon and Accenture have also taken similar steps, and Italy also briefly banned ChatGPT last month, saying it was concerned the services breached EU data protection laws.

Even Microsoft, which has a multibillion-dollar stake in ChatGPT owner OpenAI, has doubts. According to a new report, Microsoft’s Azure cloud server unit plans to sell an alternative version of ChatGPT that runs on dedicated cloud servers, where the data will be kept separate from those of other customers.

These concerns are by no means unfounded. Not only could tools such as ChatGPT help attackers write legitimate-sounding phishing emails and malicious code, they also carry a data breach risk. Those risks have already manifested: OpenAI admitted in March that ChatGPT has already suffered its first significant data breach, which exposed the personal and partial payment data of ChatGPT Plus subscribers.

Cutting-edge AI, legacy tech

Generative AI tools like ChatGPT bring powerful capabilities to non-technical users and represent a huge leap forward both in what AI can do and its potential to revolutionize everything from the way we work to the way we make decisions. For non-technical users who are now using the technology to generate human-like text for essays and social media copy, it might feel like the future has arrived. Indeed, some have even called it a new industrial revolution.

While it might feel like some sort of magical eight ball, the underlying infrastructure behind generative AI is nothing new. Much like a cloud storage service, all of the data you share with ChatGPT is stored on OpenAI’s servers. Along with prompts and chat conversations, OpenAI saves other data, too, such as your account details, approximate location, IP address, payment details and device information. This data is used to train and improve the model, according to OpenAI, so it can better understand and respond to natural language queries.

AI is just someone else’s computer by Carly Page originally published on TechCrunch

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