Headline RoundupJanuary 17th, 2024

OpenAI Walks Back Ban on Military Use, Announces Work With US Military

Summary from the AllSides News Team

OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT, is working with the Department of Defense to develop artificial intelligence tools.

Details: The company is reportedly working with the Pentagon to develop a number of tools, one of which pertains to cybersecurity software.

Policy Change: An older version of the OpenAI usage policy prohibited OpenAI services from being used for “activity that has high risk of physical harm,” including, “weapons development” and “military and warfare.” The updated usage policy does not include this provision related to military use, but does prohibit the use of OpenAI services to “develop or use weapons” or “injure others or destroy property.” Explaining the policy change to Bloomberg (Lean Left bias), OpenAI Vice President of Global Affairs Anna Makanju said, “Because we previously had what was essentially a blanket prohibition on military, many people thought that would prohibit many of these use cases, which people think are very much aligned with what we want to see in the world.”

How the Media Covered It: Characterizations of tech workers’ general feelings regarding AI’s potential military applications differed in reporting across the political spectrum. The Washington Times (Lean Right bias) reported that the “broader AI industry” is “eager to work with the American military as it looks to incorporate emerging technologies.” CNBC (Center bias), on the other hand, noted “years of controversy about tech companies developing technology for military use, highlighted by the public concerns of tech workers — especially those working on AI.”

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