While many workers worry AI bots will take their jobs, Samsung employees are no longer allowed to use them. The company banned generative AI tools, like ChatGPT and Google Bard, after discovering staff had added sensitive code to them, Bloomberg reported. This revelation followed last month's incident in which Samsung engineers uploaded internal source code and meeting notes to ChatGPT and accidentally leaked it.
Samsung isn't waiting for another mishap to take action. "HQ is reviewing security measures to create a secure environment for safely using generative AI to enhance employees' productivity and efficiency," the company said in a memo to staff. "However, until these measures are prepared, we are temporarily restricting the use of generative AI." Samsung further expressed concern that data sent to generative AI tools is stored on external servers, potentially creating difficulties around access, removal and unintentional sharing. ChatGPT, for instance, uses data for training unless users specifically opt-out.
Though many companies are encouraging employees to embrace the likes of ChatGPT and Google Bard, Samsung isn't alone in taking the opposite approach. Bans are particularly popular amongst banks (clear hubs of sensitive information), with JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America and Citi Group all restricting employee access.
Beyond reducing worries about being let go in favor of an inanimate tool, most of Samsung's staff likely agree with the policy, sharing similar concerns to their employer. In April, an internal survey by Samsung found 65 percent of respondents believed AI tools came with security risks. With this said, Samsung is still working on its own AI tools for employees to use for tasks like software development and translation.
Employees can still use any AI tools on personal devices strictly for non-work related matters — violating this rule is a quick path to termination. The new corporate policy won't impact consumers, with generative AI tools still available across Samsung devices.