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Congress Restricts Staff Use of ChatGPT Amid Growing Privacy Concerns

Written By:

Shane Wen

Published on:

June 28, 2023

In a move for increasing privacy concerns over artificial intelligence (AI), Congress has imposed stringent limitations on the use of the AI tool, ChatGPT.

An internal memo circulated among the House of Representatives revealed that Congress staff would only be permitted to use the paid version, ChatGPT Plus, which offers superior privacy protections.

Despite the $20 monthly subscription, usage of the tool is strictly restricted to “research and evaluation” purposes. Incorporating it into routine work or regular workflow remains prohibited. This directive is seen as the House’s latest attempt to grapple with the profound implications of generative AI.

AI stands at the precipice of being our most ground-breaking innovation yet, potentially ushering in a new age of technological advancement, according to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. However, he underscored the importance of fostering innovation safely, warning that public apprehension could stifle AI’s development.

Congress is expected to roll out a comprehensive regulatory package soon.

It would address issues related to AI disclosure and enforcement, and provide guidelines to differentiate generative AI from other AI types. Lawmakers are striving to answer critical questions about how AI tools should interact with users, distinguish themselves from other forms of AI, and handle content created jointly by AI and individuals.

The technology industry is closely monitoring these developments. Tech giants like Apple and Samsung have already implemented restrictions on the use of AI tools like ChatGPT in the workplace, voicing concerns about potential confidentiality breaches. These self-imposed limits demonstrate an industry-wide commitment to tackling the challenges posed by this nascent technology.

The Congress’ move reflects the balancing act needed as society navigates the new landscape carved out by AI. While the potential of this technology is vast, it’s essential to ensure it develops responsibly and doesn’t infringe upon individual privacy or security. /

Updated 12-14-2023, 11:52 pm EST

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