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May 2, 2023updated 03 Aug 2023 9:33am

Samsung ‘bans’ employees from using OpenAI’s ChatGPT

After staff leaked chip and device source code into the chatbot, the Korean electronics giant has taken action.

By Claudia Glover

Samsung has reportedly banned its employees from using generative AI tools such as ChatGPT, Bing and Google Bard after the company’s source code was leaked by several employees last month. Samsung, which is reportedly working on its own, in-house, AI tools, says the ban is temporary, but it follows several other companies in forbidding their staff from using ChatGPT.

Samsung bars employees from using generative AI tools like ChatGPT. (Photo by Valeriya Zankovych/Shutterstock)

ChatGPT is banned from all company devices, according to an internal Samsung memo seen by Bloomberg. The hugely popular chatbot, built on OpenAI’s large language model (LLM) GPT-4 has spawned a new generative AI craze, with tech giants including Google, Microsoft and Salesforce all developing AI-driven products. It has also become integral to many business processes, but doubts over the security of the system, and the way it processes data, remain.

Samsung bans ChatGPT

The memo says: “HQ is reviewing security measures to create a secure environment for safely using generative AI to enhance employees’ productivity and efficiency

“However, until these measures are prepared, we are temporarily restricting the use of generative AI.” 

Failure to comply could land staff in hot water. “We ask that you diligently adhere to our security guideline and failure to do so may result in a breach or compromise of company information resulting in disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment,” the memo reportedly said.

Samsung is taken action after revelations last month that three employees leaked sensitive data using ChatGPT. Workers were allowed to use the chatbot to experiment with fixing problems with the company’s source code. 

This led to some at the company uploading said code directly into the large language model, along with other bits of important information such as internal meeting notes referring to hardware and confidential data.

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The problem with uploading data to ChatGPT

OpenAI retains the information uploaded into its tools to help with further training of the systems. This means that the Samsung Electronics  source code is now technically in the hands of OpenAI. 

In response to this, Samsung is reportedly developing its own generative AI tools to be used in house, but but does not appear to have any recourse to demand the sensitive information back from OpenAI. Tech Monitor has approached both companies for comment.

Samsung is the latest company to impose a temporary ban on employee use of generative AI. In February, financial services business JP Morgan Chase announced temporary restrictions of LLMs due to “compliance concerns”. Its employees are subject to similar restrictions to that of Samsung in that they may not enter sensitive company information into generative AI tools.

Amazon has also reportedly imposed similar guidelines for its employees this year, as have Verizon and Accenture.

Read more: Jailbreaking ChatGPT is the internet’s new favourite pass time

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