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Microsoft temporarily blocks employee access to ChatGPT due to security issues

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Microsoft temporarily blocked its employees from accessing OpenAI's ChatGPT chatbot due to security and data concerns. The company informed workers of the restriction via an internal update, stating a number of AI tools were no longer available on corporate devices. This included ChatGPT and Canva, though the design app was later removed from the banned list.

The software giant gave no clear reason for the action but said it was exercising caution over external services handling private data and potential security risks. The Verge's Tom Warren revealed that Microsoft has been conducting tests "to ensure that highly sensitive corporate data remains secure."

A spokesperson told CNBC the endpoint filtering was inadvertently applied more broadly during a test and wasn't meant as a permanent policy change. Also, Microsoft instead recommends its own AI chatbot, Bing Chat, which is based on the GPT-4 model.

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 relationship between Microsoft and OpenAI is complex, with the two collaborating closely. Microsoft has invested $10 billion into OpenAI and uses its technology, while OpenAI runs on Microsoft's Azure cloud platform.

Lately, OpenAI held its first developer's conference, DevDay, and in the middle of its opening keynote, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella was invited by CEO Sam Altman. While Nadella's appearance was brief, he did talk about the two companies' continuing partnership.

On the other hand, ChatGPT users had been experiencing problems using the AI chatbot for the past day. With so many ties between the two companies, Microsoft's temporary shutdown of ChatGPT didn't come as a surprise.

Source: CNBC

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