As big tech companies are in a fierce race with each other to build generative AI tools, they are being cautious about giving their secrets away. In a move to prevent any of its data from ending up with competitors, Apple has restricted internal use of tools like OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Microsoft-owned GitHub’s Copilot, a new report says.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Apple is worried about its confidential data ending up with developers who trained the models on user data. Notably, OpenAI launched the official ChatGPT app on iOS Thursday. Separately, Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman tweeted that the chatbot has been on the list of restricted software at Apple for months.
I believe ChatGPT has been banned/on the list of restricted software at Apple for months. Obviously the release of ChatGPT on iOS today again makes this relevant.
— Mark Gurman (@markgurman) May 19, 2023
In May, Samsung also banned employees from using generative AI tools like ChatGPT after reportedly registering three separate incidents of them feeding proprietary company data to the chatbot.
Other organizations including banks like Bank of America, Citi, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo, JPMorgan, Walmart, and telecom giant Verizon have also restricted their staff from accessing ChatGPT.
The WSJ report noted that Apple is developing its own generative AI models but didn’t expand on what they may be used for. Recent job listings point to Apple being on the hunt for generative AI talent, however. In March, The New York Times reported that multiple teams in Apple, including the one working on Siri, are experimenting with language-generating AI.
Apple dabbled with generative AI itself when it released AI-powered book narrations in January. Given that AI was the core theme of the just-concluded Google IO developer conference, all eyes will be on Apple to make some AI-related announcements during its upcoming Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) next month.