Musk says he will ban Apple devices if OpenAI is integrated into its OS

Apple, which is expanding into AI, announced a partnership with the ChatGPT maker on Monday

Elon Musk, chief executive of Tesla and SpaceX and owner of X, co-founded OpenAI, but later had a falling out with the company. Reuters
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Elon Musk has warned that he will ban Apple devices at his companies if the iPhone maker integrates OpenAI’s artificial intelligence software at the operating system level, calling it a security breach.

His remarks came after Apple on Monday announced a much-anticipated partnership with OpenAI, the company behind the generative AI tool ChatGPT.

ChatGPT, which will be integrated with Siri, will also be available free of charge in iOS 18 and macOS Sequoia – the next version of the desktop operating system – this year, Apple said at its annual developers conference.

“If Apple integrates OpenAI at the OS level, then Apple devices will be banned at my companies. That is an unacceptable security violation,” Mr Musk said on X, the social media platform he owns.

The businessman, who is also the chief executive of electric vehicle maker Tesla and SpaceX, said that visitors “will have to check their Apple devices at the door, where they will be stored in a Faraday cage”.

Apple on Monday also announced the launch of its generative AI known as Apple Intelligence, which will soon be introduced across its ecosystem.

The company stressed that user data will be safe and that its AI has been built “with privacy from the ground up”.

“All of this goes beyond artificial intelligence. It’s personal intelligence and it’s the next big step for Apple,” chief executive Tim Cook said at the conference.

However, Mr Musk questioned Apple's capability to ensure that OpenAI would protect users' privacy.

“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 on X.

Mr Musk, who cofounded OpenAI in 2015, had a falling out with the start-up.

He also sued OpenAI and its chief executive Sam Altman in February, alleging it abandoned its initial non-profit mission and called the company “a lie”.

OpenAI, which is backed by Microsoft with about $13 billion investment, meanwhile, said that Mr Musk was just regretful he wasn't part of the company's success.

Mr Musk launched his own AI start-up, xAI, in July last year amid the growing demand for generative AI to compete with OpenAI.

It released its Grok-1 generative AI platform in November, followed by the improved Grok-1.5 in March.

Grok is being positioned by the company as a “conversational AI for understanding the universe” – aligned with Mr Musk's agenda when he announced in July last year that xAI was meant “to understand reality” and “the true nature of the universe”.

At the time of Grok-1's launch, Mr Musk also said that xAI would make Grok open source, doubling down on his offensive against OpenAI.

Updated: June 11, 2024, 7:34 AM