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Microsoft Limits Access to Generative AI Service, Introduces New Terms and Conditions

Summary

Microsoft, one of the largest web server operators in the world, is taking measures to limit access to its Generative AI service due to the potential overload caused by its billion Windows users. The company has introduced a “temporary access […]

Microsoft Limits Access to Generative AI Service, Introduces New Terms and Conditions

Microsoft, one of the largest web server operators in the world, is taking measures to limit access to its Generative AI service due to the potential overload caused by its billion Windows users. The company has introduced a “temporary access slowdown to the Generative AI service” clause in its online service agreement to address the issue of excessive usage.

While the exact definition of excessive usage of the Generative AI service, which allows users to generate text and images based on specific inputs, such as ChatGPT and DALL-E tools, is not specified in the agreement, users of these tools have reported delays in generating results. Complex text generation or formatting tasks may require several minutes to complete on remote servers. These new licensing terms were observed by Cloudy With a Chance of Licensing, my new favorite URL.

These terms are likely a preparation for the broader implementation of AI text generation tools in Windows Copilot, which will be available in the refreshed version of Windows 11 in 2023. It will join other AI-powered tools like Bing Chat and AI-enhanced Paint application. However, the specific language in the licenses is aimed at corporate agreements, where Microsoft 365 Copilot offers generative capabilities for business tools such as PowerPoint, Excel, and Outlook. It was launched in early November alongside the major Windows 11 2023 upgrade which included Windows Copilot.

Despite Copilot being widely integrated into the operating system with plans for further integration, the changes in the licensing terms indicate that even Microsoft cannot predict the server load caused by potentially millions of users accessing this service simultaneously. However, if Microsoft introduces new terms that allow them to limit individual users, regardless of how they define “excessive usage,” it is evident that the company is anticipating significantly higher loads on its data services in the future.

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