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Elon Musk threatens to ban Apple devices from integrating with OpenAI

Elon Musk said at X that he would ban his company from using Apple devices if Apple goes ahead with plans announced at WWDC24 to integrate Siri with OpenAI’s ChatGPT.

“If Apple integrates OpenAI at the OS level, then Apple devices will be banned from my company. This is an unacceptable security violation.” He went on to say, “Visitors will have their Apple devices checked at the door and will be stored in a Faraday cage.”

Musk even responded to Apple CEO Tim Cook to express his displeasure: “I don’t want it. Either stop this creepy spyware or all Apple devices will be banned from my company.”

What does the actual integration between Siri and OpenAI look like?

However, Musk’s knee-jerk reaction seems to be due to a misunderstanding of how the Siri-OpenAI integration works. Apple announced Apple Intelligence at its conference this week, and it made several changes to Siri. One of the changes is that the assistant will be able to recognize when a larger, more complex answer is needed and give users the option to pass the question to OpenAI’s ChatGPT. The OS-level integration that Musk is worried about doesn’t seem to exist.

Other Apple apps can also choose to call OpenAI’s functions, but users can still choose whether to access. “Of course, you can control when to use ChatGPT, and you will be asked before any of your information is shared,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, in the keynote speech at WWDC24. ChatGPT integration will appear in iOS 18 iPadOS 18 and macOS Sequoia later this year.

OpenAI also confirmed this in a blog post, saying, “OpenAI does not store requests and users’ IP addresses are hidden. Users can also choose to connect their ChatGPT account, which means their data preferences will be applied to ChatGPT’s policies.”

However, Elon Musk doesn’t seem to care too much about the truth of the matter. In another article in X, he said: “It is patently absurd that Apple is not smart enough to make its own AI, but can ensure that OpenAI protects your security and privacy! Once Apple gives your data to OpenAI, they have no idea what is happening. They are selling you out.”

In response to this post, the community announcement clarified the facts, saying that “Apple develops its base models, which run on the device (locally) and have approximately 3 billion parameters. For tasks that require more computation, Apple either uses private cloud computing (open to verify privacy) or uses OpenAI for additional confirmation.”

Featured Image Credit: Apple

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