HomeWinBuzzer NewsElon Musk Threatens Apple Device Ban Over ChatGPT Integration

Elon Musk Threatens Apple Device Ban Over ChatGPT Integration

Musk thinks that Apple's reliance on third-party AI compromises user privacy and advocates for confining ChatGPT to a standalone app instead of integrating it with Siri.

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Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has expressed strong opposition to 's initiative to incorporate ChatGPT into its software ecosystem. Musk, also at the helm of xAI, has warned that he might prohibit the use of Apple devices in his organizations, flagging serious privacy concerns.

Musk's Privacy Warnings

At the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2024, Apple unveiled plans to embed ChatGPT in iOS 18, empowering Siri with advanced AI capabilities. Apple also hinted at potential collaborations with other AI frameworks like Google's Gemini, signaling a more extensive strategy for embedding across its platform. These new features are set to be available on iPhone Pro 15 models and newer devices, extending AI capacities to a larger user base.

Despite Apple's assurances that any data sharing with would require user consent, Musk is skeptical. He argues that embedding AI at this level could lead to massive data harvesting without adequate protections.

In a series of posts on X (formerly Twitter), Musk highlighted potential privacy risks, suggesting that ChatGPT could access sensitive information on Apple devices.

He asserts that Apple's reliance on third-party AI compromises user privacy and advocates for confining ChatGPT to a standalone app instead of integrating it with Siri. Musk also said he would consider banning Apple devices in his companies if the company integrated products directly into their devices.

A community note added to one of his posts concludes that Musk´s strong opposition misrepresents what Apple is doing. It states:

“The assumption made here misrepresents what was actually announced. Apple Intelligence is Apple's own creation, and ChatGPT access is entirely separate, and controlled by the user”.

 

Musk´s posts seem to ignore the fact that ChatGPT is only available via opt-in for specific requests and Apple Intelligence itself is powered by Apple´s own large language and generative AI models on a shielded server structure.

Apple's Position and Implementation

Craig Federighi, Apple's Senior Vice President of Software Engineering, stressed the implementation of user control over when ChatGPT is activated, with explicit consent needed for data sharing. “Of course, you're in control over when ChatGPT is used and will be asked before any of your information is shared“, said the Apple SVP at yesterday's WWDC 2024 event. 

This integration, Apple claims, aims to enhance the Siri experience by seamlessly fetching ChatGPT responses. Moreover, users' data will not be logged by OpenAI unless accounts are linked for premium features.

OpenAI echoed Apple's statements in a related press release, indicating that user queries are not stored and IP addresses are anonymized. The integration aims to deliver AI functionalities while safeguarding user privacy. It says:

“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. Users can also choose to connect their ChatGPT account, which means their data preferences will apply under ChatGPT's policies”.

Industry Debates and Future Directions

The tech sector is abuzz with discussions following this announcement. Venture capitalist Sam Pullara noted that this method mirrors existing ChatGPT app features, pointing out that OpenAI wouldn't have direct access to device data. Musk's criticism, however, casts a spotlight on broader data with integrated third-party AI.

Musk's Wider Critique and Legal Stand

Musk's discontent isn't confined to privacy. He also questioned Apple's lack of proprietary , doubting the company's ability to ensure user protection with OpenAI. Musk had previously initiated a lawsuit against OpenAI and its CEO Sam Altman, alleging deviations from their original human-benefiting AI mission. A co-founder of OpenAI in 2015, Musk left the board in 2018, later accusing the organization of becoming a secretive Microsoft affiliate.

Markus Kasanmascheff
Markus Kasanmascheff
Markus is the founder of WinBuzzer and has been playing with Windows and technology for more than 25 years. He is holding a Master´s degree in International Economics and previously worked as Lead Windows Expert for Softonic.com.