OpenAI Works with U.S. Military Soon After Policy Update

K. C. Sabreena Basheer 18 Jan, 2024 • 2 min read

Aligning with a recent policy shift, OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT, is actively engaging with the U.S. military on various projects, notably focusing on cybersecurity capabilities. This development comes on the heels of OpenAI’s recent removal of language in its terms of service that previously restricted the use of its artificial intelligence (AI) in military applications. While the company maintains a ban on weapon development and harm, this collaboration underscores a broader update in policies to adapt to new applications of their technology.

Also Read: OpenAI Updates Policy to Allow Military Use and Weapons Development

OpenAI’s Military Collaboration

OpenAI is partnering with the U.S. Defense Department to develop open-source cybersecurity software, a departure from its earlier prohibition on providing AI for military purposes. This collaboration includes projects with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), such as the AI Cyber Challenge announced last year.

ChatGPT maker OpenAI Collaborates with U.S. Military Soon After Policy Update

Veteran Suicide Prevention

Anna Makanju, OpenAI’s Vice President of Global Affairs, revealed in an interview that the company is in talks with the U.S. government regarding tools to assist in preventing veteran suicides. This move showcases OpenAI’s commitment to public-sector applications beyond its traditional scope.

Policy Update and Ethical Commitment

The removal of language prohibiting the use of AI in “military and warfare” applications has sparked discussions. Makanju clarified that while OpenAI lifted the blanket prohibition on military use, it maintains strict guidelines against developing weapons, causing harm, or destroying property. This policy update aims to provide clarity on the acceptable applications of ChatGPT and other tools.

Also Read: OpenAI Prepares for Ethical and Responsible AI

OpenAI Prepares for Ethical and Responsible AI

Industry Collaboration and Microsoft’s Role

OpenAI, along with Anthropic, Google, and Microsoft, is actively participating in the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Agency’s AI Cyber Challenge. Microsoft, OpenAI’s largest investor, has been providing software contracts to the U.S. armed forces, showcasing a broader industry collaboration in enhancing cybersecurity.

Also Read: EU Launches Probe into Microsoft-OpenAI Collaboration

Election Security Measures

In light of increasing concerns about election security, OpenAI is intensifying efforts to prevent the misuse of ChatGPT and other generative AI tools for spreading political disinformation. CEO Sam Altman emphasized the importance of safeguarding elections, aligning with Microsoft’s five-step election protection strategy announced in November.

Also Read: How OpenAI is Fighting Election Misinformation in 2024

Our Say

OpenAI’s strategic pivot towards military collaboration signals a nuanced approach to the ethical use of AI technology. While the company is actively engaging in projects aligned with national security, its commitment to preventing harm and maintaining transparency remains paramount. The broader industry collaboration and focus on election security underscore the evolving landscape where AI intersects with societal and political issues. As OpenAI navigates these uncharted territories, maintaining ethical standards will be crucial to shaping the responsible use of AI in diverse applications.

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