Samsung Electronics headquarters in South Korea. The company has banned the use of generative AI programs after sensitive data sets were leaked. Photo courtesy of Samsung Electronics
SEOUL, May 4 (UPI) -- Samsung Electronics is banning employee use of AI-powered chatbots, following the discovery of internal data leaks.
The company issued the warning last week, prohibiting its employees from using generative artificial intelligence tools on company-owned computers, tablets and smartphones for any purpose.
"Beginning May, employees are banned from using generative AI tools on company computers," the notice said. "Please adhere diligently to the security guidelines."
South Korea-based Samsung Electronics, the world's largest manufacturer of memory chips, found late last month that some engineers in its semiconductor business had uploaded sensitive company information, which then became a part of the source code on ChatGPT.
The incident prompted the company to take an in-house survey in which it was discovered that two-thirds of the respondents worried about security risks stemming from the use of ChatGPT for work.
Recognizing that its engineers likely used the program for efficiency gains, Samsung said it would work on developing an alternative AI tool specific for internal use.
Samsung Electronics's rule follows a similar move by Sk hynix, the worlds' No. 2 memory chip maker.
American financial behemoths such as JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs have also taken defensive measures. The Italian government last week banned the use of ChatGPT due to data breach concerns. Other countries are considering similar measures.
In the United States, Vice President Kamala Harris is meeting on Thursday with American tech executives. The White House seeks to implement new federal controls on AI to ensure the technology develops "responsibly."
Since the unveiling of ChatGPT late last year by OpenAI, the chatbot program has been used by millions around the world, outperforming expectations.
Google stepped up to announce its own AI program, Bard, while Microsoft, a financial backer of OpenAI, said it was adding the ChatGPT function into its search engine Bing.
Growing concerns have been raised over security and data breaches.