ChatGPT’s outage on Monday was a bit more problematic than it first appeared.
According to Bloomberg(Opens in a new tab), the AI chatbot was shut down due to a bug that exposed titles of users’ chat histories to other users. The titles could be seen in the sidebar on the left, which typically shows user’s chat history, but the details of users’ conversations with ChatGPT were not visible.
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A Reddit user posted a screenshot(Opens in a new tab) of what the bug appeared like in their browser. Instead of their own chat history, the sidebar displayed the titles of someone else’s ChatGPT sessions, and another user posted a similar screenshot.(Opens in a new tab) Similar reports(Opens in a new tab) were shared on Twitter(Opens in a new tab).
An OpenAI spokesperson confirmed the news to Bloomberg and said that ChatGPT was temporarily disabled following reports on the bug. The issue was due to a bug in open-source software OpenAI was using, but the precise cause still hasn’t been determined.
ChatGPT went back online on Monday, but chat history isn’t yet available. “We’ve fully restored ChatGPT service to all users. We’re continuing to work to restore past conversation history to users,” a notice on OpenAI’s status dashboard(Opens in a new tab) said.
The issue was an unpleasant reminder that users should be careful with what they type into ChatGPT (or any similar service, for that matter). We’ve asked OpenAI about the incident and the steps the company plans to take in order to prevent such issues in the future, and will update this post when we hear back.