ChatGPT and other generative AI services have become quite popular at businesses around the world. After all, with the right prompts, these platforms can perform a lot of work tasks, from coding and emailing to project management and customer service assistance.
However, the technology is nothing if not controversial, with a wide range of critics wary of AI's potential impact on the business world. Concerns about its accuracy are the driving factor, but there are plenty of other reasons why banning AI has become increasingly popular over the last few months.
In this guide, we'll show you which companies have started banning AI for their employees, as well as outlining why the tech is being banned in the first place.
Companies That Have Banned AI
The tech industry has been abuzz since the launch of ChatGPT in November, with many businesses building AI alternatives to compete with the impressive platform. Still, this has not stopped certain companies from outright banning or limiting generative AI use for employees, at least until they figure out how it can work for them in a more regulated way.
While Apple is typically on the cutting edge of new technology, the tech giant is taking a firm stance on the employee use of ChatGPT, banning the technology for all workers.
The primary concern fueling the ban from Apple is that upper management is concerned about employees unknowingly sharing confidential information, which could then in turn lead to a leak.
It's worth noting, by the way, that Apple banned employees from using AI on the same day it launched the ChatGPT app for iOS.
Apple's decision to ban employee use of generative AI platforms like ChatGPT may have been spurred by Samsung's decision to do the same, as their reasoning is surprisingly similar. The difference, however, being that Apple was afraid of employees sharing confidential information, whereas a Samsung employee actually did share confidential information on ChatGPT, which led to a potential leak of its code.
Samsung didn't just ban ChatGPT without consideration for its employees. In fact, the South Korea-based company surveyed employees about the decision and found that 65% are concerned about security risks when using generative AI platforms like ChatGPT.
In a public statement to employees in February, the telecommunications company Verizon made clear its opinions about employees using ChatGPT, and as you might have guessed, it's not a positive one.
“ChatGPT is not accessible from our corporate systems, as that can put us at risk of losing control of customer information, source code and more… as a company, we want to safely embrace emerging technology.”
Verizon did note in the statement that “artificial intelligence is integral” to the company's long-term strategy, but that ChatGPT was “not synonymous with AI,” and therefore not to be used by employees.
Wall Street Banks
Tech companies aren't the only businesses that are wary of employees utilizing generative AI platforms like ChatGPT to improve productivity. In fact, one of the first industries to really take issue with the technology was banking, which saw a myriad of big banks banning AI outright for employees before the majority of the tech industries.
Here's a list of big banks that have banned employees from using generative AI for work:
- Bank of America Corp.
- Citigroup Inc.
- Deutsche Bank AG
- Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
- Wells Fargo & Co.
- JPMorgan Chase & Co.
To be fair, though, the banking industry is not necessarily opposed to the technology on principal. The reality is that the banking industry is heavily regulated, which means that unvetted, third-party software like ChatGPT simply isn't permitted to manage the billions of dollars passing through these big banks.
Considering the fact that ChatGPT and other generative AI platforms have been described as “convincingly inaccurate,” even by their creators, it's safe to say that they shouldn't be handling all of our money anyway. Still, once these platforms are a bit more developed, and more importantly regulated, you can rest assured that banks will likely get on the bandwagon.
Countries That Have Banned AI
In addition to several companies making the choice to nix ChatGPT for employees, there are some countries that are taking extraordinary steps to ensure the technology does not disrupt everyday life for their citizens. Here's a list of the countries where ChatGPT is banned:
- North Korea
In the countries listed above, you will not be able to access ChatGPT, unless you've got a VPN of some kind. Yes, the list is not exactly a ringing endorsement for banning ChatGPT, considering their collective reputation when it comes to unjust internet censorship.
Why Is ChatGPT Getting Banned?
With so many prominent companies and actual countries banning generative AI platforms like ChatGPT, it's safe to wonder, why is the technology being banned in the first place?
For starters, ChatGPT and its alternatives are very much in their infancy. Having just launched in November last year, these platforms are far from perfect, relaying a lot of significant AI errors that could have a decidedly negative impact on a company or a country. The tech is also very susceptible to spreading misinformation, according to a recent study of the generative platform Google Bard.
On top of that, employees and employers just aren't on the same page when it comes to the use of generative AI in the workplace. 68% of employees reportedly use generative AI platforms at work without telling their bosses, and 47% of employers are considered AI use over new hires. Suffice to say, the impact of AI on the workplace is going to be more that substantial.
All that to say, generative AI just isn't ready for the big time yet. The potential errors, the disconnect on usage, and proclivity for misinformation is enough to turn big business away from the tech. However, you can bet your bottom dollar that once these issues are at least somewhat resolved, these companies will be first in line to get the productivity boost they'll all but ensure.