Apple has placed restrictions on using ChatGPT and other external artificial intelligence tools by certain employees as it develops similar technology.

A document reviewed by The Wall Street Journal shows Apple is concerned that employees who use these programs could leak confidential data. 

The company has also instructed its staff not to use GitHub’s Copilot, owned by Microsoft, which automates software code writing.

Read More: Amazon warns employees from sharing confidential information with ChatGPT

ChatGPT, created by Microsoft-backed OpenAI, is a chatbot built on a large language model capable of answering questions, writing essays, and performing other human-like tasks.

Using such models entails sending data back to the developer for ongoing improvements, creating a risk of unintentionally releasing proprietary or confidential data. 

In March, OpenAI revealed ChatGPT was temporarily taken offline due to a bug that allowed users to view chat history titles.

OpenAI has since added an option for users to disable their chat history, blocking the AI model’s training on that data.

Read More: IBM to freeze hiring for roles that could be replaced by AI

Apple is known for its stringent security measures to safeguard future product information and consumer data. 

Many organizations have become cautious of this technology as their employees utilize it for various tasks, including email composition, marketing content creation, and software coding.

JPMorgan Chase and Verizon have already prohibited its use, while New York City schools’ chancellor, David Banks, recently rescinded its ChatGPT ban.

A spokeswoman said Amazon has advised its engineers who require coding assistance to use the company’s internal AI tool instead of ChatGPT.

Sources said Apple is also developing its large language models.

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During Apple’s recent earnings call, Cook expressed concerns about advancements in generative AI and emphasized the importance of a deliberate and thoughtful approach.

Apple has also closely monitored new software on its iPhone App Store that utilizes generative AI. 

OpenAI announced the launch of a ChatGPT app for iPhone and iPad on Thursday.

Apple was an early player in applying AI to consumer applications with the introduction of Siri in 2011. 

However, the company has faced increasing competition from Amazon’s Alexa in subsequent years.

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