Documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal and people with knowledge of the situation suggest Apple’s move is motivated by fears of potential confidential data leakage through AI tools. Along with ChatGPT, employees have also been prohibited from using GitHub’s Copilot, an AI tool that aids in code writing through autocompletion.
ChatGPT has been met with cautious adoption by several sectors such as banking, healthcare, and financial services due to concerns about unintentional sharing of sensitive proprietary information with the chatbot.
After discovering employees had uploaded delicate source code to generative AI utilities like ChatGPT, Samsung implemented a similar ban. Worries over data shared with AI platforms like Bing and Google Bard potentially becoming accessible to other users were also raised. Major corporations like JPMorgan Chase and Verizon have enacted similar prohibitions on these AI utilities.
Morgan Stanley has purchased a private ChatGPT service from OpenAI that enables employees to query and scrutinize content within the bank’s numerous market research documents. In response to privacy concerns, Microsoft is also developing a version of ChatGPT intended for corporate clients.
Apple’s move emerges in the context of its apparent efforts to develop its own AI and large language models, under the leadership of John Giannandrea, the senior vice president of Machine Learning and AI Strategy. Having previously worked with Google, Giannandrea now directly reports to Apple CEO Tim Cook. The Wall Street Journal has yet to share more specific details about Apple’s AI development ventures.
Despite the restrictions, OpenAI’s ChatGPT continues to be available on the web and via multiple third-party iOS apps. Recently, OpenAI launched the first official ChatGPT application for iPhone and iPad users.