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Microsoft Plans To “Throttle” Its AI Services for Frequent Users: New T&C Reveals Limits

Microsoft's recent update to its terms of service, which flags excessive users of its generative AI Services for restricted access

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has recently updated its terms and conditions online, indicating that excessive users of its Services will be subjected to restricted access. The revised language was found in a November 1st update and caught the attention of the team from Cloudy With A Chance of Licensing.

The new clause in the agreement, “Capacity Limitations,” highlights that any excessive use of Microsoft's AI services may result in temporary throttling of customer's access. Microsoft, however, has not provided clarity on definitions for “excessive use”, period of “temporary” restriction, and scope of “throttling”.

The Impact and Concerns Over AI Throttling

Limitations suggest issues in Microsoft's AI architectures that could potentially degrade the performance for users. However, this could hinder those who update Windows to use its AI Copilots and potentially receive subpar service. This might discourage some from future use of Microsoft's AI, which would be a negative outcome for the software giant. Another possible reason for these restrictions could be that Microsoft is attempting to minimize its costs. On its Q1 2024 earnings call held on October 24, Microsoft divulged capital expenditures reaching $11.2 billion, with a portion allocated to scaling their AI infrastructure.

Other AI Providers and Their Policy

Microsoft's move is not the first of its kind. Other AI providers, such as , also place restrictions on their services. OpenAI rate limits its API, explaining that it assures everyone's fair access to the API, preventing one user from slowing down the API for the rest. In case of non-compliance, OpenAI's Terms Of Use state that charges will be levied or the services will be discontinued. Similar clauses are also found in Midjourney's Terms of Service. Microsoft is yet to comment on the ill-defined terms of its new clause. 

SourceMicrosoft
Luke Jones
Luke Jones
Luke has been writing about all things tech for more than five years. He is following Microsoft closely to bring you the latest news about Windows, Office, Azure, Skype, HoloLens and all the rest of their products.

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