As of September 30th, Microsoft’s Terms of Service will include new limits and restrictions pertaining to its AI capabilities. On July 30th, the updated version was made public. Specifically, “AI Services” are defined as “services that are labeled or described by Microsoft as including, using, powered by, or being an Artificial Intelligence (“AI”) system.“
The focus here is on Microsoft’s AI services, and the section specifies five guidelines and limitations that the company has set:
- Reverse Engineering. You may not use the AI services to discover any underlying components of the models, algorithms, and systems. For example, you may not try to determine and remove the weights of models.
- Extracting Data. Unless explicitly permitted, you may not use web scraping, web harvesting, or web data extraction methods to extract data from the AI services.
- Limits on use of data from the AI Services. You may not use the AI services, or data from the AI services, to create, train, or improve (directly or indirectly) any other AI service.
- Use of Your Content. As part of providing the AI services, Microsoft will process and store your inputs to the service as well as output from the service, for purposes of monitoring for and preventing abusive or harmful uses or outputs of the service.
- Third party claims. You are solely responsible for responding to any third-party claims regarding Your use of the AI services in compliance with applicable laws (including, but not limited to, copyright infringement or other claims relating to content output during Your use of the AI services).
At the same time as alterations to the Terms of Service pertaining to AI are receiving a lot of attention, Microsoft has updated its Services Agreement. For instance, Zoom, a company that offers video conferencing and messaging services, has been receiving a lot of criticism for certain changes it made to its Terms of Service (TOS) in March concerning artificial intelligence (AI), which have raised some interesting new considerations regarding privacy, user control, and reliability. Reports that Zoom had updated its Terms of Service over the weekend to make it clear that the firm can train AI on user data without providing an opt-out were widely disseminated.
Companies Adapting to AI Culture
Following feedback, Zoom updated its Terms of Service and blog to reflect that “Zoom does not use any of your audio, video, chat, screen sharing, attachments or other communications-like Customer Content (such as poll results, whiteboard and reactions) to train Zoom or third-party artificial intelligence models.” Zoom has revised its TOS and product to reflect this change in policy.
The New York Times has likewise also updated its Terms of Service recently to discourage content scraping by AI businesses. We’ve updated the language to read as follows: “Non-commercial use does not include the use of Content without prior written consent from The New York Times Company in connection with (1) the development of any software program, including, but not limited to, training a machine learning or artificial intelligence (AI) system; or (2) providing archived or cached data sets containing Content to another person or entity.”