Musk threatens to ban iPhones

The billionaire issued the warning after announced a partnership with OpenAI

Co-founder of Tesla and SpaceX . ©  Apu Gomes/Getty Images

Tech billionaire Elon Musk has threatened to ban staff at his companies from using Apple devices if the iPhone maker integrates OpenAI’s software into its operating systems.

His remarks came after Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference on Monday, at which it announced a partnership with OpenAI, through which ChatGPT will be paired with Apple’s digital assistant Siri.

Musk, who is the CEO of electric car producer Tesla and rocket maker SpaceX, and the owner of social media company X (formerly Twitter), warned that “if Apple integrates OpenAI at the OS level, then Apple devices will be banned at my companies.” He described the move as an “unacceptable security violation.”

“It’s patently absurd that Apple isn’t smart enough to make their own AI, yet is somehow capable of ensuring that OpenAI will protect your security and privacy,” he wrote on X on Monday.

Apple said ChatGPT, integrated into the Siri assistant, will be available free of charge in iOS 18 and macOS Sequoia – the next versions of the mobile and desktop operating systems – later this year.

READ MORE: Musk’s brain chip to be implanted in second patient – WSJ

Musk responded by saying employees and visitors to his companies would “have to check their Apple devices at the door” where they will be stored in a ‘Faraday cage’ – a device that blocks electromagnetic fields.

The iPhone maker has 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”.

Ben Bajarin, CEO of consulting firm Creative Strategies, told Reuters that Apple was trying to show people that private cloud storage was as secure as keeping data on a device, and expressed doubt that people or companies would follow Musk’s lead.  

In March, the tech mogul sued OpenAI, which he co-founded in 2015, and its CEO Sam Altman, accusing the ChatGPT maker of a “stark betrayal” of its original mission to develop AI for the benefit of humanity and not for profit.

OpenAI has ridiculed Musk’s lawsuit, saying the billionaire merely regrets not being a part of the company’s success.


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