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19 May, 2023
1 min time to read

Apple has imposed restrictions on the use of ChatGPT and other external artificial intelligence tools by its employees as the company develops its own similar technology, according to sources familiar with the matter and a document reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

The restrictions come as Apple expresses concern that employees using these programs could accidentally disclose confidential data. The document also indicated that Apple has advised its employees against using Microsoft-owned GitHub's Copilot, an AI tool that automates software code writing.

In March, OpenAI temporarily took ChatGPT offline after a bug allowed some users to access the titles from another user's chat history. In response, OpenAI introduced a feature allowing users to turn off their chat history, thereby preventing the AI model from being trained on that data.

Apple is known for its strict security measures aimed at protecting information related to future products and customer data. Several organizations, including JPMorgan Chase and Verizon, have already banned ChatGPT because of such concerns. However, New York City schools recently lifted their ban.

Apple is actively developing its own large language models and has been acquiring artificial intelligence startups under the leadership of John Giannandrea, a senior vice president reporting to CEO Tim Cook. Giannandrea, who joined Apple from Google in 2018, heads Apple's AI efforts.

During Apple's recent quarterly earnings call, Cook expressed cautiousness about advancements in generative artificial intelligence and emphasized the need for careful consideration of associated issues.

I do think it’s very important to be deliberate and thoughtful in how you approach these things,” Cook said. “And there’s a number of issues that need to be sorted as is being talked about in a number of different places, but the potential is certainly very interesting.