Elon Musk Starts War With Apple Over ChatGPT Integration, Threatens To Ban iPhones

Elon Musk starts a war with Apple over ChatGPT integration 8 photos
Photo: Apple
Elon Musk starts a war with Apple over ChatGPT integrationElon Musk starts a war with Apple over ChatGPT integrationElon Musk starts a war with Apple over ChatGPT integrationElon Musk starts a war with Apple over ChatGPT integrationElon Musk starts a war with Apple over ChatGPT integrationElon Musk starts a war with Apple over ChatGPT integrationElon Musk starts a war with Apple over ChatGPT integration
Apple announced a major AI push with iOS 18, with Apple Intelligence deeply integrated at the OS level. However, Elon Musk was rattled by Apple's decision to partner with OpenAI for a deeper ChatGPT integration. Tesla's CEO threatened to ban iPhones and other devices from its companies, calling them an "unacceptable security violation."
Apple almost missed the AI train, being the last major tech company that had not announced an AI project. That was rectified on Monday when Apple announced a major AI push during the annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). With iOS 18, a "Siri on steroids" will be able to use OpenAI's ChatGPT to respond to customer's requests.

However, before doing that, Apple will use on-device LLM processing as part of Apple Intelligence, the name of its AI ecosystem. Apple Intelligence is Apple's own creation, and ChatGPT is only called into action via API calls if the user chooses to do so. This is not different from Siri currently performing a Google search. However, Elon Musk obviously didn't watch the WWDC keynote and became overly defensive at the news of the Apple-OpenAI partnership.

In a series of angry tweets, Musk called OpenAI integration an "unacceptable security violation," threatening to ban all Apple devices from its companies. Two minutes later, Musk announced a similar policy for visitors, who would have to check their Apple devices at the door, where they would be "stored in a Faraday cage." He went on relentlessly, replying to everyone posting about the WWDC announcement, from influencers like Marques Brownlee (@MKBHD) to Apple CEO Tim Cook himself.

Later on, Musk wrongly mocked Apple for not being "smart enough to make their own AI" and not protecting users' privacy "at all." That was the part that prompted even members of the Tesla community to want to set things straight. Tyler C. (@ycorsair), the founder of Teslascope, explained that Apple has its own AI servers and LLMs, which are utilized on a per-request basis and have no persistent storage. ChatGPT is only considered if the on-device model and Apple Server LLMs can't complete the task.

Elon Musk has recently been at odds with OpenAI, a company he co-founded at the end of 2015. He has increasingly criticized OpenAI for failing to live up to its founding principles. Musk has since sued the company and its CEO, Sam Altman, accusing them of prioritizing profits over safety. Musk is also the founder of xAI, a competing AI company that developed Grok, a ChatGPT rival.

In 2022, Musk also publicly attacked Apple and its CEO, Tim Cook, over the cuts it takes from payments made on iPhone. At the time, Musk launched X Premium plans, and he considered it outrageous to pay Apple a 30% cut. The new round of attacks against Apple might not go lightly this time. Banning iPhones at Tesla might be an extreme measure, but that won't switch Americans to using Android overnight.

Some of Musk's fans suggested Tesla or X make their own phones with open-source software to enforce privacy. This certainly appears to be the way forward, and Musk explicitly said, "It's not out of the question." Otherwise, Elon Musk's companies will soon run entirely off pen, paper, and carrier pigeons, as someone suggested. After all, Apple is bad, Microsoft also uses OpenAI, and evil Google owns Android. I guess the suggestion to just use Linux will not go down well with employees without a computer science degree, either.
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About the author: Cristian Agatie
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After his childhood dream of becoming a "tractor operator" didn't pan out, Cristian turned to journalism, first in print and later moving to online media. His top interests are electric vehicles and new energy solutions.
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