US House Restricts Congressional Staff from Use of ChatGPT to Protect Privacy

UTC by Bhushan Akolkar · 2 min read
US House Restricts Congressional Staff from Use of ChatGPT to Protect Privacy
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The lawmakers have put a ban on ChatGPT and other large language models that lack enough privacy features. However, they have exempted the restriction for using ChatGPT Plus.

Amid the going penetration of artificial intelligence (AI) technology and systems into our daily life, lawmakers are initiating some key measures. The US House of Representatives has recently adopted new rules by banning all AI large language models (LLMS), for security reasons, however, this includes the sole exception of OpenAI’s ChatGPT Plus service.

Catherine Szpindor, the US House’s chief administrative officer, sent the notice stating that they have restricted the chatbot use for security purposes. The memo reads:

“House offices using the ChatGPT artificial intelligence chatbot are only authorized to use the ChatGPT Plus version of the product. The Plus version of the product incorporates important privacy features that are necessary to protect House data. No other versions of ChatGPT or other large language models Al software are authorized for use in the House currently.”

Additionally, the document has a provision that limits House members’ usage of the software to “research and evaluation only”. It also prevents them from using ChatGPT in their “regular workflow”.

Other restrictions include not being allowed to share any personal or sensitive information as prompts, and it is necessary to use ChatGPT Plus with all privacy settings turned on. However, it is not clear what specific privacy features the document mentions, as OpenAI has not provided a list of privacy benefits that are unique to the Plus service.

As told by OpenAI, the ChatGPT Plus service only provides general access to the model during peak times along with faster query responses and priority access to certain features. It doesn’t mention the additional privacy features.

Lawmakers Move to Regulate the AI Industry

A few days ago, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer urged Congress to quickly pass new laws to regulate the artificial intelligence industry. He outlined a framework that focuses on areas like national security risks and potential job loss caused by AI.

Lawmakers in the Senate and House have already introduced several bills this year to regulate the industry. Senators Richard Blumenthal and Josh Hawley proposed a measure to hold AI companies legally responsible by exempting them from Section 230.

Congress is also engaging with key industry figures, such as Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI, which created ChatGPT. Other proposed measures involve reviewing AI policies within federal agencies and establishing a new commission to study and create industry rules.

Artificial Intelligence, News, Technology News
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