Microsoft will now offer OpenAI's GPT-4 to US government agencies

Services will be provided through Azure Government Cloud to ensure data security.
Ameya Paleja
Microsoft now opens up AI for US government too
Microsoft now opens up AI for US government too

Jean Luc Ichard/iStock 

Government agencies in the U.S. will now have access to OpenAI's artificial intelligence (AI) models, such as GPT-4 and its predecessor after Microsoft announced that it would offer Azure OpenAI services to the government as well.

OpenAI's GPT-4 is the powerhouse behind Microsoft's new Bing search engine and a hot favorite among companies looking to leverage AI to make better use of their data. As per Microsoft's claims, its Azure OpenAI services, launched only in January this year, serve more than 4,500 customers.

These are large businesses such as Mercedes, Volvo, Ikea, and Shell, among others, looking for ways to improve the productivity of their employees and analysis of data at their disposal. Even as private companies have rushed to leverage AI in their operations, government offices have remained out of the loop. Microsoft's offering now enables government agencies to also use powerful AI models.

What is Microsoft offering?

Microsoft will allow government agencies to access GPT-4, GPT-3, and Embeddings from OpenAI using the Azure OpenAI service. Embeddings measure the relatedness of text strings and are helpful in operations such as Search, Clustering, Anomaly Detection, and Classification, to name a few, as per OpenAI's website.

These services are aimed at helping government agencies "improve efficiency, enhance productivity and unlock new insights from their data," Microsoft wrote in a blog post. Users of this service can use REST API, Python SDK as well as the web-based interface in Azure AI Studio to adapt AI models to specific tasks.

Using the service is expected to help government agencies accelerate content generation, reduce the time and effort required for research and analysis, generate summaries of logs, and rapidly analyze long reports while also facilitating enhanced information discovery, a Microsoft blog post stated.

Users will also be able to build custom applications to query data models and generate code documentation, processes which have historically been very time-consuming.

Microsoft will now offer OpenAI's GPT-4 to US government agencies
Architecture used to protect government data

Ensuring the security of government data

Since most government agencies tackle sensitive information that needs a high level of security, Microsoft will provide these services through Azure Government which uses stringent security and compliance standards.

Government agencies will use the AI services on the Azure Government network, which will pair directly with the commercial Azure network over Microsoft's own backbone networks. Through this architecture, Microsoft guarantees that government applications and data environments remain on Azure Government.

Additionally, Microsoft encrypts all Azure traffic using AES-128 block cipher and ensures that the traffic remains within Microsoft's networks and is never made part of the public internet. Microsoft has also clarified in the blog post that government data will not be used to learn about the data or to train or improve the AI models.

Specifically, Azure Government users will not have access to ChatGPT, the conversational chatbot commonly accessed by users on the internet, a Microsoft spokesperson confirmed to Bloomberg.

This should put to rest any concerns about government or individual data being accidentally released to the public due to some misgivings about the technology from a state or federal employee, unlike what happened at Samsung.

Add Interesting Engineering to your Google News feed.
Add Interesting Engineering to your Google News feed.
message circleSHOW COMMENT (1)chevron
Job Board