Elon Musk is threatening to ban Apple devices from his companies over Apple's ChatGPT integrations

Elon Musk is threatening to ban iPhones from all his companies over Apple's newly announced OpenAI integrations on Monday at WWDC 2024. In a series of posts about Xwrote the CEO of Tesla, SpaceX and xAI that “if Apple integrates OpenAI at the OS level,” Apple devices would be banned from its businesses and that visitors would have to check their Apple devices at the door where they “will be stored in a Faraday Cage.”

His posts seem to misunderstand the relationship Apple has announced with OpenAI, or at least try to leave room for doubt about user privacy. While Apple and OpenAI both said that users are asked before “sending any questions to ChatGPT,” along with any documents or photos, Musk's responses indicate that he believes OpenAI is deeply integrated into Apple's operating system itself and therefore in is able to store all personal and private data.

In iOS 18, Apple said people can ask Siri questions, and if the assistant thinks ChatGPT can help, it will ask permission to share the question and present the answer immediately. This allows users to get a response from ChatGPT without having to open the ChatGPT iOS app. Photos, PDFs or other documents you want to send to ChatGPT get the same treatment.

However, Musk would prefer that OpenAI's capabilities remain tied to a dedicated app – and not to a Siri integration.

Respond to VC and CTO Sam Trekmacaw at Sutter Hill Ventures who wrote that the user approves a specific request per request – OpenAI does not have access to the device – Musk wrote: “Then leave it as an app. This is nonsense.”

Pullara had said that the way ChatGPT was integrated was essentially the same as the ChatGPT app works today. The AI ​​models on the device are from Apple or from Apple's Private Cloud.

In the meantime, answers to a post on *not at all* the privacy!”

He even did replied to a message from Apple CEO Tim Cook, in which he threatened to ban Apple devices from his companies' buildings if he didn't “stop this scary spyware.”

“It's downright absurd that Apple isn't smart enough to create their own AI, yet is somehow able to ensure that OpenAI protects your security and privacy!” Musk exclaimed in one of many posts about the new integrations. “Apple has no idea what's actually going on when they transfer your data to OpenAI. They sell you down the river,” he said. While it's true that Apple may not know the inner workings of OpenAI, Apple isn't technically transferring the data; the user makes that choice, it sounds like.

Apple also announced another integration that will allow users to access ChatGPT system-wide within Writing Tools through a “composing” feature. For example, you could ask ChatGPT to write a bedtime story for your child in a document, Apple suggested. You can also ask ChatGPT to generate images in a number of styles to complement your writing. Through these features, users can essentially access ChatGPT for free without the hassle of creating an account. That's great news for OpenAI, which will soon see a huge influx of requests from Apple users.

Apple users obviously don't understand the nuances of the privacy issues here – and that's what Musk is counting on by making these complaints. If users could set their own favorite AI bot as a point of contact for Siri requests or writing assistance, like Anthropic's Claude or – say, xAI's Grok – it's doubtful Musk would shout so loudly about the dangers of such an integration. (In fact, Apple only hinted during a post-keynote session that Google Gemini might be integrated in the future.)

In the announcement, Apple says that users' requests and information will not be logged, but ChatGPT subscribers will be able to link their account and then access their paid features directly within Apple's AI experiences.

“Of course, you have control over when ChatGPT is used and will be asked before your data is shared. ChatGPT integration is coming to iOS 18, iPadOS 18 and macOS Sequoia later this year,” said Craig Federighi, Apple SVP Software Engineering. The features are only available on iPhone Pro 15 models and devices using M1 or newer chips.

OpenAI repeated something similar in his blog post, noting that “requests are not stored by OpenAI and users' IP addresses are invisible. Users can also choose to link their ChatGPT account, meaning their data preferences will apply under ChatGPT policies.” The latter refers to the optional (such as opt-in) possibility to link the function to their paid subscription.

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