Elon Musk is ranting about Apple and OpenAI on X

Elon Musk is ranting about Apple and OpenAI on X
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Elon Musk attends the Viva Technology conference dedicated to innovation and startups at the Porte de Versailles exhibition centre on June 16, 2023 in Paris, France.

Amongst the many announcements made at WWDC 2024 yesterday, a certain partnership between Apple and OpenAI arguably caught the most attention. And Elon Musk now (unsurprisingly) has a lot to say about it.

The tech leader took to his platform X, formerly Twitter, to rant about Apple’s new era of AI, of which we all got a sneak peek yesterday. In a series of posts, Musk declared he would ban Apple devices at his companies if Apple “integrates OpenAI at the OS level”, calling it “an unacceptable security violation.”

Musk also said that any visitors at his companies — these include SpaceX, Tesla, Neuralink, The Boring Company, and xAI among others — “will have to check their Apple devices at the door, where they will be stored in a Faraday cage.”

He then continued to condemn Apple and OpenAI’s partnership, denouncing all the privacy and safety regulations that Apple announced when introducing its AI systems and features.

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“Apple has no clue what’s actually going on once they hand your data over to OpenAI. They’re selling you down the river,” he wrote.

Musk then took his criticisms to the very top of the Apple hierarchy, replying to Apple CEO Tim Cook’s post on X with a less than veiled threat: “Either stop this creepy spyware or all Apple devices will be banned from the premises of my companies.”

But Musk’s admonishing of Apple is missing the point, as several people have noted. Mashable’s Chris Taylor puts it this way: “…despite what a clueless Elon Musk seems to think, this does not involve ChatGPT being baked into the OS itself; quite the opposite.”

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Apple’s newly-announced partnership with OpenAI entails ChatGPT being integrated into Siri and its operating systems, as well as other apps and features like Messages, Mail and Compose that work with Siri, and without needing to open the separate ChatGPT app. As Apple noted throughout the event and in company blog posts, no user information is shared without permission. In OpenAI’s press statement regarding the collaboration, the company also underscored these regulations: “Privacy protections are built in when accessing ChatGPT within Siri and Writing Tools—requests are not stored by OpenAI, and users’ IP addresses are obscured.”

“Of course, you’re in control over when ChatGPT is used and will be asked before any of your information is shared,” said Apple SVP of Software Engineering Craig Federighi at yesterday’s event. “ChatGPT integration will be coming to iOS 18 iPadOS 18 and macOS Sequoia later this year.” But the option to use ChatGPT is still, as Apple emphasized, in users’ hands.

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Musk’s reaction to OpenAI’s blossoming relationship with Apple may have something to do with his own plans for AI across his platforms, which includes his AI chatbot Grok and the development of xAI, a startup that recently raised $6 billion in funding. The CEO has also picked fights with OpenAI before: just this March, Musk filed a lawsuit against the company, despite being one of its key investors back in the day.


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