Companies are banning ChatGPT due to security concerns. Apple is only one of many.
The Wall Street Journal has obtained internal documents showing that Apple has restricted the use of ChatGPT and Microsoft's coding tool Github Copilot. The company is reportedly concerned that confidential information could be leaked through these tools. Bloomberg's Apple reporter Mark Gurman confirms this: ChatGPT has been on Apple's banned list for months.
ChatGPT becomes chatbot non grata
In addition to the general concern that data read by large language models could be incorporated into the training data and thus into the model as an abstraction, a ChatGPT security flaw in March allowed some users to view other people's chats. This didn't help build trust. However, this was an explicit security vulnerability and not a general problem with AI technology.
In addition to Apple, many other companies and banks have banned ChatGPT and similar tools, including Samsung and Verizon. Amazon is reportedly encouraging its employees to use its programming tool instead of ChatGPT.
OpenAI recently improved ChatGPT's privacy with more extensive settings and plans to release a business version of ChatGPT. Microsoft is also reportedly planning to release a business version of ChatGPT.
Apple working on its own language models
Apple is also working on its own language models, according to the WSJ - which shouldn't surprise anyone. The question is: What is taking Apple so long?
According to Apple CEO Tim Cook, Apple has made "enormous progress" in integrating AI and machine learning into its products in the last few years. "We view AI as huge, and we'll continue weaving it into our products on a very thoughtful basis," Cook said on the company's most recent quarterly earnings call. Cook also mentions "a number of issues" that need to be resolved, without going into detail.
Apple has not even hinted at a specific generative AI product that could compete with ChatGPT, Bard, or the Bing chatbot. Just a few days ago, OpenAI launched a ChatGPT iOS app that is still in its infancy but has the potential to create a new Internet ecosystem through plugins and Internet access, potentially making many iOS apps obsolete.
And all this with the tailwind of Apple's app ecosystem, without any pushback from Apple itself? Hard to imagine, although Apple has reportedly run into trouble in recent years, especially with the Siri project because Apple's strict privacy rules have allegedly hindered AI development.