Microsoft and OpenAI’s bromance hit another snag Thursday. The Windows maker temporarily blocked employee access to ChatGPT, the premiere product it invested billions in from OpenAI, due to security concerns on Thursday, first reported by CNBC.
“Due to security and data concerns a number of AI tools are no longer available for employees to use,” Microsoft said in an internal update seen by CNBC. Corporate devices were temporarily unable to access ChatGPT and other AI services such as Midjourney and Replika. The restriction came on the same day OpenAI publicly announced a DDoS attack on their system, causing global outages in the week following DevDay and stalling the rollout of GPTs.
“While it is true that Microsoft has invested in OpenAI, and that ChatGPT has built-in safeguards to prevent improper use, the website is nevertheless a third-party external service,” Microsoft said internally. “That means you must exercise caution using it due to risks of privacy and security.
A Microsoft spokesperson told CNBC that the temporary blockage was a mistake resulting from a test of control systems for large language models.
”We restored service shortly after we identified our error,” said the spokesperson. “As we have said previously, we encourage employees and customers to use services like Bing Chat Enterprise and ChatGPT Enterprise that come with greater levels of privacy and security protections.”
Microsoft and OpenAI did not immediately respond to Gizmodo’s request for comment.
“The rumors that we are blocking Microsoft 365 in retaliation are completely unfounded,” said Sam Altman in a tweet Thursday night.
Apple warned employees to steer clear of using ChatGPT in May, fearing the AI could leak sensitive company information. Amazon also asked employees not to share sensitive code with OpenAI’s chatbot in January. Security concerns are widespread around the use of ChatGPT, and Microsoft would not have been the first company to block employee access to the large language model.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella joined OpenAI’s Sam Altman on stage during DevDay, a successful event that may have been tarnished by a week of hacks, outages, and restrictions from its largest investor.