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Elon Musk Calls Apple Intelligence “Creepy Spyware” – Threatens To Ban Apple Devices

Last Updated 2 days ago
Eddie Mitchell
Last Updated 2 days ago
Key Takeaways
  • Apple’s artificial intelligence (AI) push will now integrate OpenAI’s ChatGPT into its devices.
  • Elon Musk is currently suing OpenAI and Sam Altman for breaching their “non-profit” agreement.
  • Elon Musk is launching his own AI firm, xAI, and is considering the creation of an X smartphone.

Elon Musk has threatened to ban Apple devices from his companies if they integrate OpenAI at the operating system (OS) level.

Alleging privacy and security concerns, Musk has warned against this “creepy spyware”, adding to a string of disputes between the billionaire, Apple, and Sam Altman’s OpenAI.

Apple’s ChatGPT

At their annual developer conference on Monday Apple unveiled its latest AI software, Apple Intelligence.

Amongst its many features, which include text and image generation, as well as an improved version of Siri, Apple is integrating OpenAI’s ChatGPT into its devices. For Musk, this is an absolute no-go.

Reiterating this stance, he posted to X: “[…]visitors will have to check their Apple devices at the door, where they will be stored in a Faraday cage”.

As ever, Musk isn’t pulling any punches and is critical of the fact that Apple didn’t “make their own AI”.  According to him, it will leave consumers vulnerable. Although, fact-checking features available on his own platform were quick to point out that

Another community note from readers, which has mysteriously disappeared, was attached to another one of Musk’s posts, namely a meme  pointing fun at Apple and OpenAI’s data handling. The note contained this excerpt from OpenAI’s website, which explains :

“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.”

Musk’s outburst is hardly unexpected considering the billionaires’ ongoing beef with both Apple and OpenAI, the latter of which he co-founded in 2015 before leaving some years later.

Musk Against OpenAI

Since OpenAI’s rise to prominence throughout 2023, it has caught the ire of Musk who has taken regular shots at the firm and its CEO, Sam Altman.

Notably, Musk sued OpenAI and Altman in March 2024 alleging that the company behind ChatGPT had breached the terms of an agreement they entered into when OpenAI formed in 2015.

According to Musk’s complaint, OpenAI had diverged from being a non-profit research organization, as agreed upon, by partnering with Microsoft in a $13 billion deal. According to the lawsuit, this makes OpenAI a “de facto subsidiary” of Microsoft.

Musk is calling for a trial by jury for the company, Altman, and co-founder Greg Brockman, to pay him back the profits they’ve received from the business.

Big Tech Battles

There’s often a sense of hyperbole in Musk’s occasional, but memorable outbursts against certain companies or people. But that said, Musk does have a point about privacy and AI.

AI is evolving rapidly, and will soon find itself integrated into one of the widest-adopted operating systems on the planet, meaning its capabilities are only going to accelerate.

This can and will leave lawmakers and regulators in the dust, and with OpenAI on the receiving end of multiple lawsuits that could determine the future of AI regulations, Apple’s integration of ChatGPT may be a little premature in this context.

Not one to miss out on a business opportunity Musk asked his audience on X if he should get started with creating his own phone. That said, Musk recently secured an additional $6 billion for his own AI firm, xAI, suggesting his anti-OpenAI stance may be a tad biased.

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