Elon Musk threatens Apple with a ban on OpenAI integration, cybersecurity experts sound the alarm

VB Transform 2024 returns in July! More than 400 business leaders will gather in San Francisco July 9-11 to delve into the advancement of GenAI strategies and engage in thought-provoking community discussions. Find out how you can attend here.


Elon Musk, the billionaire entrepreneur behind Tesla and SpaceX, declared on Monday that he would ban Apple devices from his companies if the iPhone maker integrated OpenAI's artificial intelligence technology at the operating system level. The threat, posted on Musk's social media platform X.com, formerly known as Twitter, came hours after Apple unveiled a major partnership with OpenAI at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference.

“That's an unacceptable security breach,” Musk wrote in an to interweave. “And visitors will have to check their Apple devices at the door, where they will be stored in a Faraday cage,” he added, apparently referring to a shielded enclosure that blocks electromagnetic signals.

Escalating rivalry between technology giants

Musk's broadside against Apple and OpenAI underlines the escalating rivalry and tensions between tech giants as they race for dominance in the booming generative AI market. The Tesla CEO was an outspoken critic of OpenAI, a company he helped found as a nonprofit in 2015 before an acrimonious split, and is now positioning his own AI startup xAI as a direct competitor to Apple, OpenAI and other major players. .

But Musk isn't alone in raising concerns about the security implications of Apple's tight integration with OpenAI's technology, which allows developers across the iOS ecosystem to leverage the startup's powerful language models for applications like natural language processing, generating images and more. Pliny the Prompter, a pseudonymous but widely respected cybersecurity researcher known for jailbreaking OpenAI's ChatGPT model, called the move a “brave” but potentially risky move given the current state of AI security.


VB Transform 2024 Registration is open

Join business leaders in San Francisco from July 9 to 11 for our flagship AI event. Connect with colleagues, explore the opportunities and challenges of generative AI, and learn how to integrate AI applications into your industry. register now


Safety concerns are high

“Time will tell! A bold move to integrate to this extent, given the current state of llm security,” Pliny posted on In recent months, Pliny and other researchers have shown that they can bypass the protections of ChatGPT and other AI models, allowing them to generate malicious content or reveal confidential information used in their training data.

The tech industry has suffered data breaches, cyberattacks and the theft of sensitive user information in recent years, raising the stakes for Apple as it opens up its operating systems to third-party AI. While Apple has long advocated for user privacy and insisted that OpenAI will respect its strict data protection policies, some security experts worry that the partnership could create new vulnerabilities that bad actors can exploit.

From our perspective, Apple is essentially installing a black box at the heart of its operating system, relying on OpenAI's systems and security to be robust enough to keep users safe. But even the most advanced AI models today are prone to errors, biases and potential misuse. It's a calculated risk by Apple.

Musk's tumultuous history with OpenAI

Apple and OpenAI both emphasize that the AI systems integrated into iOS will run entirely on users' devices standard, instead of sending sensitive data to the cloud, and which developers take advantage of Apple Intelligence tools will be subject to strict guidelines to prevent misuse. But details remain scarce, and some worry that the lure of user data from Apple's 1.5 billion active devices could create temptation for OpenAI to bend its own rules.

Musk's history with OpenAI has been tumultuous. He was an early pillar of the company and served as chairman of the board before leaving in 2018 over disagreements over its direction. Musk has since criticized OpenAI for its transformation from a nonprofit research lab to a for-profit juggernaut and accused OpenAI of abandoning its original mission of developing safe and useful AI for humanity.

With his xAI startup riding a wave of hype and a recent $6 billion fundraising round, Musk seems eager to fuel the story of an epic AI battle for the ages. By threatening to ban Apple devices from his companies' offices, factories and facilities around the world, the tech mogul is signaling that he views the looming competition as limitless and zero-sum.

Whether Musk follows through with a wholesale Apple ban on Tesla, SpaceX and his other companies remains to be seen. As Meta's chief AI scientist recently noted, Musk often makes “blatantly false predictions” in the press. The logistical and security challenges alone of enforcing such a policy among tens of thousands of employees would be enormous. Some also question whether Musk really has the legal right as CEO to unilaterally ban employees' personal devices.

But the episode highlights the strange alliances and animosities that are taking shape Silicon Valley's AI gold rush, where yesterday's partners can quickly become today's rivals, and vice versa. With tech powerhouses like Apple, Microsoft, Google and Amazon all deep in bed with OpenAI or developing their own advanced AI in-house, the battle lines are being drawn for a showdown over the future of computing.

As the stakes rise and the saber-rattling increases, cybersecurity researchers are loving it Pliny the Prompter will watch and investigate for signs of vulnerabilities that could harm consumers in the middle. “We're going to have some fun, Pliny!” Kom joked, another prominent AI security tester, in a playful yet ominous X-exchange on Monday. Fun, it seems, is one word for it.

Related Posts

FTC Chair Lina Khan on Startups, Scaling and 'Innovations in the Field of Possible Law Violations'

FTC Chair Lina Khan was the youngest person appointed to her position when she took over in 2021. But once her term ends in September – after which she will…

Nvidia's 'Nemotron-4 340B' model redefines synthetic data generation and competes with GPT-4

It's time to celebrate the incredible women leading the way in AI! Nominate your inspirational leaders for VentureBeat's Women in AI Awards today by June 18. More information Nvidia has…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You Missed

New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez's strategy to blame his wife in a bribery trial could have pitfalls

  • June 15, 2024
New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez's strategy to blame his wife in a bribery trial could have pitfalls

FTC Chair Lina Khan on Startups, Scaling and 'Innovations in the Field of Possible Law Violations'

  • June 15, 2024
FTC Chair Lina Khan on Startups, Scaling and 'Innovations in the Field of Possible Law Violations'

Following a routine makes it easier to build wealth. Here's how

  • June 15, 2024
Following a routine makes it easier to build wealth.  Here's how

Investors are wondering whether technology can continue to lift the S&P 500 to new records this summer

  • June 15, 2024
Investors are wondering whether technology can continue to lift the S&P 500 to new records this summer

New research approach: investigating the mouthfeel of food with a microscope

  • June 15, 2024
New research approach: investigating the mouthfeel of food with a microscope

Salesforce (CRM) Q1 2025 Earnings Report

  • June 15, 2024
Salesforce (CRM) Q1 2025 Earnings Report

Quantum entanglement measures the rotation of the Earth

  • June 15, 2024
Quantum entanglement measures the rotation of the Earth

DOJ Destroys GOP Conspiracy That Controlled New York Trial

  • June 15, 2024
DOJ Destroys GOP Conspiracy That Controlled New York Trial

Nvidia's 'Nemotron-4 340B' model redefines synthetic data generation and competes with GPT-4

  • June 15, 2024
Nvidia's 'Nemotron-4 340B' model redefines synthetic data generation and competes with GPT-4

China needs bond market reforms to rein in rising debt, S&P Global says

  • June 15, 2024
China needs bond market reforms to rein in rising debt, S&P Global says

The tasty flavors of chocolate can pose a risk in other desserts

  • June 15, 2024
The tasty flavors of chocolate can pose a risk in other desserts