OpenAI Walks Back On Its Ban On AI-Military Usage

Tyler Cross
Tyler Cross Senior Writer
Tyler Cross Tyler Cross Senior Writer

OpenAI is no longer following its promise of banning the use of AI use in military tools. In the past, OpenAI was strictly against letting the military use their tools for any means, whether that was for weapons, security, or intelligence purposes. However, on Wednesday, its privacy policy silently changed to allow for military use.

This comes shortly after the company began working alongside the US Department of Defense to create new open-source AI tools and software. The new privacy policy still prohibits OpenAI’s tools and software from being used to create weapons or for other means that may harm someone. The only direct change was the removal of specifically mentioning the military cannot use it.

“Our policy does not allow our tools to be used to harm people, develop weapons, for communications surveillance, or to injure others or destroy property,” writes a spokesperson for OpenAI. “There are, however, national security use cases that align with our mission.”

Provided the privacy policy is followed, AI software could be a great boon to the US’s cybersecurity defenses.

Not everyone is a fan of the change. For years various groups have protested giant tech companies becoming embroiled in military use. Employees in massive companies like Google and Microsoft have conducted widespread protests at those companies’ involvement with the US military.

Despite the controversy, the company believes it was the right move.

“Because we previously had what was essentially a blanket prohibition on the 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,” said OpenAI.

There are plenty of reasons to remain skeptical about any military using AI tools strictly for humanitarian purposes. Since OpenAI has partnered with the US Department of Defense, whether the outcome leads to AI-driven weaponry or enhanced national cybersecurity purposes, the ball has already begun rolling.

About the Author
Tyler Cross
Tyler Cross
Senior Writer

About the Author

Tyler is a writer at SafetyDetectives with a passion for researching all things tech and cybersecurity. Prior to joining the SafetyDetectives team, he worked with cybersecurity products hands-on for more than five years, including password managers, antiviruses, and VPNs and learned everything about their use cases and function. When he isn't working as a "SafetyDetective", he enjoys studying history, researching investment opportunities, writing novels, and playing Dungeons and Dragons with friends."