Microsoft is announcing a new AI-powered chat tool that’s designed to offer a higher level of data protection for businesses with privacy and security concerns about generative AI tools. Bing Chat Enterprise is launching in preview today and will be included in select Microsoft 365 plans at no additional cost. It’s accessible “wherever Bing Chat is supported,” according to Microsoft’s press release, which includes Bing.com / chat and the Microsoft Edge sidebar.
The launch of Bing Chat Enterprise comes as multiple companies — including Apple, Samsung, and various Wall Street banks — have restricted their employees’ use of generative AI tools. OpenAI’s ChatGPT, for example, explicitly states that prompts used to generate responses are fodder to train its models unless users opt out, raising fears that employees will unintentionally share proprietary or confidential information with the system, which it would then adopt and share more widely.
“Using AI tools that aren’t built for the enterprise inadvertently puts sensitive business data at risk,” Microsoft’s press release reads.
Bing Chat Enterprise is Microsoft’s response to these concerns. When business users access the service, the company says that their “chat data is not saved” and that data is not used to further train AI models. “Microsoft has no eyes-on access – which means no one can view your data,” the company says, adding that the service offers “commercial data protection.” That differs from Microsoft’s Bing chatbot, which uses “both automated and manual reviews of prompts shared with Bing” to “respond to and monitor inappropriate behavior,” Microsoft confirmed to The Telegraph in February. Microsoft’s Bing chatbot is built upon OpenAI’s GPT-4 model.
Otherwise, it sounds like Bing Chat Enterprise should provide a similar user experience to Bing Chat. It’ll still provide answers with citations as well as visual answers including charts and images. It’ll be available free with existing Microsoft 365 E3, E5, Business Standard, and Business Premium subscriptions, and the company also plans to sell a standalone subscription in the future for $5 per user per month.
While Bing Chat Enterprise aims to address privacy and security concerns of businesses, other issues with using generative AI in the workplace remain. One lawyer found out the hard way that the software can hallucinate cases that don’t exist, while AI-written articles have been criticized for being filled with inaccurate information. In its early days, Bing users delighted in sharing the various ways Microsoft’s chatbot had outright lied to them. Bing Chat Enterprise might claim to be a more secure way to use generative AI at work, but you should still be going through its results with a fine-tooth comb before using them.