Samsung bans generative AI in the workplace (for now)

Samsung bans generative AI in the workplace (for now)
Image by salarko | Bigstockphoto

ITEM: Samsung is restricting the use of generative AI tools like ChatGPT for employees after the company discovered some staff were misusing it. At least one AI expert says the ban is a bad idea.

According to a Bloomberg report on Tuesday, some staff had uploaded sensitive code to ChatGPT. Samsung subsequently confirmed the report with CNBC, noting that the ban was “temporary”.

The company has told employees to be careful when using ChatGPT and other generative AI tools outside of work, especially when it comes to entering personal data or company related info.

Other companies have reportedly issued restrictions on using generative AI at work, including Accenture, Verizon, Amazon and JPMorgan.

Is Samsung right to ban generative AI?

But while feeding company data into ChatGPT or similar AI models may not be a great idea, banning it isn’t the answer, says Dr. Ilia Kolochenko, an app security expert who is also the founder of ImmuniWeb, and a member of Europol Data Protection Experts Network.

For a start, he says, “Your business competitors may outperform you by taking advantage of modern AI technologies – namely generative AI like ChatGPT – to intelligently automate various tasks and processes, to reduce their operational costs, and to eventually offer more competitive products and services on the global market.

Also, Kolochenko adds, restricting or banning generative AI tools might make some employees more determined to try it.

Educate your employees

That said, Kolochenko acknowledges that uploading company data into generative AI platforms is a real problem, especially in this post-COVID environment.

“After several years of the pandemic, countless employees still have uncontrolled access to sensitive corporate data from their personal or the so-called ‘hybrid’ devices that cannot be monitored by the employer,” he explained. “Such devices will likely be used to silently access ChatGPT and even to purposely enter some confidential or regulated data therein to test how the system behaves.”

As such, he continues, the solution isn’t to ban generative AI usage but training employees and educate them about the risks and opportunities presented by generative AI.

“Acceptable use policies (UAP) shall be developed and promulgated across the employees, while monitoring of third-party AI services can be implemented by corporate data loss protection (DLP) system or cloud access security broker (CASB) already widely deployed for other purposes,” he said.

Related article: Generative AI must be done properly to benefit enterprises

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