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The Unintended Consequences Of Feeding Company Data Into ChatGPT: A Guide To Safeguarding Your Intel

Discussion in 'Hospital' started by The Good Doctor, Apr 29, 2023.

  1. The Good Doctor

    The Good Doctor Golden Member

    Aug 12, 2020
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    As artificial intelligence continues to evolve, businesses are increasingly integrating AI-powered tools, such as ChatGPT by OpenAI, to enhance productivity and automate processes. However, using these tools without understanding the implications of feeding proprietary data into them can lead to unintended consequences, as demonstrated by the recent Samsung incident.

    The Samsung incident and other examples

    Samsung allowed their staff to use ChatGPT to improve their coding skills. Unfortunately, employees input proprietary code into the platform, which inadvertently ended up in the hands of OpenAI. This incident highlights the risks associated with handling sensitive data on such media.

    It is not an isolated case; companies worldwide unknowingly expose their intellectual property (IP) by feeding proprietary information into ChatGPT. For instance:

    1. A marketing agency drafts promotional content for a client’s unreleased product using ChatGPT. This action could leak the product details to OpenAI before the official launch.

    2. A pharmaceutical company uses ChatGPT to draft a research paper on a new drug formulation. By doing so, they might unintentionally expose their proprietary research data to a third party.


    Understanding the risks

    It’s important to clarify that OpenAI is not intentionally stealing IP from its users. The issue arises from a lack of awareness about the purpose and functionality of tools like ChatGPT and DALL-E.

    ChatGPT and DALL-E are research projects designed to study human interaction with AI models. When users input content into these services, OpenAI reserves the right to analyze and learn from the data to improve their models. Consequently, any data provided to ChatGPT may be viewed by OpenAI staff, potentially exposing proprietary information to a third party.

    Safeguarding your data: best practices and alternatives

    To protect your company’s data while still leveraging the benefits of AI, consider adopting these best practices and alternatives:

    1. Use the OpenAI API: Unlike ChatGPT, the API is a commercial service, and the data you input is not accessed by OpenAI staff. This ensures that your proprietary information remains secure.

    2. Opt-out of data tracking: Actively opt-out from data tracking by filling out a form available in OpenAI’s terms of service. This step prevents your data from being used by OpenAI for model improvement.

    3. Set up a secure instance: Establish your particular instance of the OpenAI API on a platform like Microsoft Azure to ensure complete control over your data. This approach helps you avoid potential data breaches and maintain the confidentiality of your sensitive information.

    4. Develop internal guidelines: Educate your employees on the risks of using AI tools like Chat GPT and create procedures for handling sensitive data. This awareness will help prevent unintentional leaks of proprietary information.

    5. Implement data encryption: Encrypt sensitive data before inputting it into any AI tool, making it more challenging for third parties to access and understand the information.


    AI offers enormous business potential, but it is essential to understand the associated risks and implement the necessary measures to protect your intellectual property. By following the best practices and alternatives outlined above, you can harness the power of AI while safeguarding your valuable information. If you’re considering using AI for your business, consult a professional who can guide you through the process, ensuring the security of your company’s proprietary data.


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