Mitigating AI Confidentiality Issues: A Case Study of TSMC’s iGenie

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1. Risks Associated with Generative AI Tools

In an effort to mitigate potential confidentiality breaches, many corporations, including Samsung and Apple, have prohibited the use of generative AI tools such as ChatGPT. However, regulating the usage of these tools beyond working hours proves to be a challenge. Just 20 days after Samsung adopted ChatGPT in April this year, three separate data leak incidents occurred, prompting the company to ban the use of generative AI tools in early May and contemplate replacing them with internal AI services, following the lead of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC).

2. Broadening Restrictions on Generative AI Tools

The prohibition of generative AI tools is not exclusive to Samsung. Notably, Apple, Verizon, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo, and Citigroup, among other Wall Street banking giants, have either restricted or banned the use of ChatGPT. Likewise, in Japan, companies including SoftBank, Mizuho Financial Group, and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, have enforced similar restrictions. Although Amazon limits the use of GPT, it still encourages its engineers to utilize the company’s proprietary AI tools. These measures underline a collective belief that the risks associated with using generative AI tools outweigh any potential gains in productivity or efficiency.

3. TSMC’s Intelligent Conversational Robot, iGenie

In contrast to companies enforcing prohibitions on AI tools, TSMC has adopted a different approach. “Rather than banning the tools, it would be better to quickly develop a secure intelligent conversational robot for our employees to use with peace of mind,” a TSMC executive stated. Early this year, TSMC assembled a team of hundreds of engineers to develop the intelligent conversational robot iGenie. In less than half a year, iGenie was launched in May.

4. The Functions and Benefits of iGenie

So, what benefits does iGenie, TSMC’s intelligent conversational robot, bring? iGenie offers a wide range of functionalities, not only providing real-time conversations, translations, and report writing capabilities similar to ChatGPT, but also programming, debugging, and even predicting yields, inventory levels, prices, and employee turnover rates using virtual data. This helps TSMC in optimizing management across various departments, including production, materials, sales, and human resources. Opting for in-house development not only mitigates data leakage risks but also enables customization and optimization to cater to specific business needs, thereby opening up more possibilities and potential.

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