Latest Musk outburst targets Apple, OpenAI partnership
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Latest Musk outburst targets Apple, OpenAI partnership

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Elon Musk warned yesterday that he plans to ban Apple devices from his company if the US juggernaut goes forward with its planned integration of OpenAI’s ChatGPT.

At Apple’s annual Worldwide Developer’s Conference (WWDC) Monday, the firm announced that ChaGPT will be paired with Apple’s assistant Siri.

“That is an unacceptable security violation,” Musk said on X (formerly Twitter).

"And visitors will have to check their Apple devices at the door, where they will be stored in a Faraday cage," he said.

Musk has an ongoing lawsuit against OpenAI, the company he co-founded in 2015, accusing its chief executive Sam Altman of a breach of contract.

The lawsuit said that rather than benefitting humanity, OpenAI was working on “proprietary technology to maximise the profits for literally the largest company in the world”.

Musk has repeatedly insisted that OpenAI is not focused enough on the potential harms of AI.

"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 & privacy!" Musk added.

Musk has also founded his own AI startup called xAI in a bid to challenge OpenAI. Just two weeks ago, xAI closed a US$6 billion investment round that will make it among the best-funded challengers to the market leader.

Just the start for Apple

For Apple, though, this is just the start of its AI journey. That is according to Paolo Pescatore, analyst and founder at PP Foresight.

“We thought last year’s WWDC was a landmark event for the company with the introduction of Apple Vision Pro. Well, this latest edition has now eclipsed that, with Apple redefining AI in the Apple way and firmly placing it at the heart of its strategy

“Apple Intelligence opens up new ways for everyone to communicate and interact with each other. What comes next will extend current devices and drive a new super cycle of devices across different form factors. “

Seeking to take AI to the masses is a pivotal moment for Apple, Pescatore says. He thinks this provides developers with the tools that will create the most sought-after features among users.

“And this is just the beginning. The next wave of development will be mind-boggling as everyone seeks to outpace each other.”

Pescatore believes there to be an ‘AI arms race’ but maintains Apple is in a unique position given its extensive touchpoints with consumers across the Apple universe.

“In stark contrast to rivals, Apple’s approach to AI plays to its strengths,” Pescatore says.

“Apple doesn’t need to be the first; it just needs to do it better. While it typically takes a more cautious ‘wait and see’ approach, it is interesting to see Apple make such a bold statement with AI still in its infancy. “

While some may believe Apple has succumbed to pressure to outline its AI strategy, Pescatore believes this has been in the works for some time.

“Apple has a proven pedigree and has been working in AI for a long time (its Neural Engine AI processor was first introduced in 2017).

“Apple’s plans will have been long in motion, and it will still be no surprise to see it issue a counterpunch to all the latest news and try to reassert itself firmly at the forefront of consumers’ minds when it comes to AI.”

But what does this mean for users? Pescatore says AI will be integrated so deeply and broadly across all apps, devices and experiences.

“It will mean that users will be able to accomplish much more in their daily lives – more time-saved, more life hacks, more seamless interactions, more creative ways to communicate, and more fun.

“Apple’s trust and credibility is critical to adoption. There remains ongoing concerns around privacy and trust from AI fakes which Apple is addressing with strict opt-in measures. This will be an interesting issue to watch play out.”

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