Thursday, June 13, 2024

Elon Musk threatens to ban iPhones and MacBooks at his companies after Apple announces OpenAI partnership

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Elon Musk is beefing with Apple — again.

Apple announced at its Worldwide Developer’s Conference on Monday that it will be integrating its new AI software, called Apple Intelligence, across the iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

It also separately announced a partnership with OpenAI, which includes the option to integrate ChatGPT powered by GPT-4o across some of its software, including its new and improved Siri. Apple said the ChatGPT integration will be available for free without an account in iOS 18, iPadOS 18, and macOS Sequoia later this year.

“When a user grants permission, Siri can tap into ChatGPT’s broad world knowledge and present an answer directly,” Apple said in the announcement.

Following the event, Elon Musk published a series of posts on X, formerly Twitter, denouncing the partnership.

“If Apple integrates OpenAI at the OS level, then Apple devices will be banned at my companies,” Musk wrote. “That is an unacceptable security violation.”

If Apple moves forward with the OpenAI integration, anyone who visits one of Musk’s companies will have to store their Apple devices in a Faraday cage, a type of container that blocks electromagnetic transmissions, he said.

Musk said in his posts that he’s concerned about Apple partnering with a third-party AI that it “doesn’t understand” and “can’t themselves create.”

The billionaire also said it’s “patently absurd that Apple isn’t smart enough to make their own AI,” but is capable of ensuring OpenAI will protect users’ security and privacy.

“Apple has no clue what’s actually going on once they hand your data over to OpenAI,” Musk said, without adding any evidence to back up his claim. “They’re selling you down the river.”

Apple said in its announcement of the partnership that “protections are built in for users who access ChatGPT.” It said that device IP addresses are kept private, and OpenAI won’t store requests. Users who choose to connect their accounts will be under ChatGPT’s data-use policies, the announcement said.

Siri can tap into ChatGPT’s expertise when helpful. Users are asked before any questions are sent to ChatGPT, along with any documents or photos, and Siri then presents the answer directly.
Additionally, ChatGPT will be available in Apple’s systemwide Writing Tools, which help users generate content for anything they are writing about. With Compose, users can also access ChatGPT image tools to generate images in a wide variety of styles to complement what they are writing.
Privacy protections are built in for users who access ChatGPT — their IP addresses are obscured, and OpenAI won’t store requests. ChatGPT’s data-use policies apply for users who choose to connect their account.

Musk’s distaste of OpenAI, which helped confound and finance, is nothing new. The billionaire has a public feud with its CEO Sam Altman and sued OpenAI after accusing it of betraying its original mission of being open-sourced and “developing AGI for the benefit of humanity.”

Since parting ways with OpenAI, Musk has launched his own rival AI company, xAI, and a ChatGPT rival called Grok.

Musk has also clashed with Apple and CEO Tim Cook in the past, though the two seemed to patch things up when Cook invited Musk for a tour of Apple HQ back in November 2022.

But on Monday, Musk responded to a post from Cook that promoted Apple Intelligence, voicing his displeasure.

“Don’t want it,” the Tesla CEO said. “Either stop this creepy spyware or all Apple devices will be banned from the premises of my companies.”

OpenAI and Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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