OpenAI has declared that the company does not use client data given via its APIs to train its large language models, such as GPT-4. Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI, took to Twitter to reiterate the same amid confusions surrounding the decision. On March 1, 2023, OpenAI modified its terms of service to reflect this new commitment to user privacy, putting into effect the company’s shift in policy.
Altman said, “Customers clearly want us not to train on their data, so we’ve changed our plans. We will not do that.” Altman claimed that OpenAI hasn’t been using API data for model training for a while, implying that this official statement just formalizes an already-accepted practice.
The decision made by OpenAI has broad ramifications, especially for the companies that it serves as clients, including Microsoft, Salesforce, and Snapchat. Because these businesses are more likely to use OpenAI’s API capabilities for their operations, the shift in privacy and data protection is more important to them.
The new data protection regulations, however, only apply to clients that use the company’s API services. According to the most recent version of OpenAI’s terms of service, the company may “use Content from Services other than their API”. So, unless the data is shared over the API, OpenAI may still use alternative types of data input, such as words inputted into ChatGPT.
A turning point in the current discussion concerning data privacy and AI has been reached with OpenAI’s decision to forgo using consumer data via API for training. Ensuring user privacy and upholding trust will probably continue to be at the center, as OpenAI pushes the limits of AI technology.