Microsoft plans to offer a privacy-focused version of its ChatGPT chatbot to banks, healthcare providers and other large organizations concerned with data leakage and regulatory compliance, according to a report by The Information.
The product, which may be announced “later this quarter,” will run ChatGPT on dedicated servers, separate from those used by other companies or other individual users that use versions of ChatGPT that Microsoft bakes in Edge, Windows, and its other products. This will prevent sensitive data from being used to train the ChatGPT language model and can also prevent accidental data leaks – imagine a chatbot exposing information about one company’s product roadmap to another just because both companies used ChatGPT.
The catch is that these isolated versions of ChatGPT can cost a lot to run and use. The report says that private versions “can cost up to 10 times what customers currently pay to use the regular version of ChatGPT.”
OpenAI is supposed to be planning a similar product “in the coming months,” a subscription where the inputs fed to ChatGPT by the company’s employees and customers are not used to train its language models by default. The main difference is that Microsoft’s version will use the company’s Azure platform as its backend instead of competing platforms like Amazon Web Services.
Microsoft is permitted to resell OpenAI products under the terms of a “multi-year, multi-billion dollar investment” that Microsoft has made in OpenAI. Apparently, this will cause the two companies to compete for some of the same users.
Bloomberg reports that Samsung has already banned its employees from using chat software like ChatGPT or Google’s Bard on their work devices after an employee entered “internal source code” into ChatGPT in April. Private instances of ChatGPT can allow these employees to take advantage of what ChatGPT and other generative AI products do well without leaking inside information to other companies or the public. Companies such as Verizon, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, and Goldman Sachs have taken similar steps.