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Musk Threatens Apple Ban Over OpenAI Partnership

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ELon Musk

Tesla CEO Elon Musk fired off a warning shot at Apple on Monday, threatening to prohibit the tech giant’s devices from his companies after it announced a collaboration with AI research firm OpenAI.

The billionaire entrepreneur expressed his displeasure through a series of posts on his social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter. Musk called Apple’s integration of OpenAI’s chatbot ChatGPT into its virtual assistant Siri “an unacceptable security violation,” alleging that the iPhone maker has “no clue what’s actually going on.”

Apple unveiled its long-awaited foray into artificial intelligence at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) on Monday. As part of the update, Siri will gain the ability to tap into ChatGPT’s conversational capabilities, providing users with more advanced and natural language interactions. However, Apple assured that this integration would be opt-in, with user requests and information not being logged.

Musk, known for his outspoken nature and willingness to challenge industry norms, did not mince words in his criticism. He labeled Apple’s move as “patently absurd,” questioning the company’s ability to develop its own AI while expressing doubt about its capacity to safeguard user privacy and security in partnership with OpenAI.

The Tesla CEO went a step further, declaring that Apple devices would be banned from his companies’ premises if the integration with OpenAI occurs “at the OS level,” referring to Apple’s operating system. He even suggested that visitors to his companies would be required to check their Apple devices at the door.

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Musk’s companies, including Tesla, SpaceX, Neuralink, and The Boring Company, employ tens of thousands of workers worldwide. Tesla alone had a workforce of over 140,000 employees as of the end of 2022, although the company has implemented layoffs this year.

The billionaire’s feud with OpenAI runs deeper than the Apple partnership. Musk co-founded OpenAI in 2015 but stepped down from its board in 2018. Earlier this year, he sued the company and its CEO, Sam Altman, alleging that they had strayed from OpenAI’s original mission of developing AI “for the benefit of humanity broadly.”

Musk has also been actively developing his own AI venture, xAI, which recently raised $6 billion in funding. Its first product, Grok, is intended to serve as an alternative to ChatGPT, positioning itself as a more uncensored and “politically incorrect” conversational AI.

Neither Apple nor OpenAI immediately responded to requests for comment on Musk’s threats.

The escalating tension between Musk and the tech giants highlights the growing concerns and debates surrounding the rapid advancement of artificial intelligence and the need for responsible development and implementation of these powerful technologies.

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