Tech

Musk May Ban Apple Devices at Tesla, SpaceX Over AI Concerns

Musk threatens to ban Apple devices from Tesla, SpaceX, and X over OpenAI integration concerns.

By Alex P. Chase

6/10, 18:22 EDT
Apple Inc.
Tesla, Inc.
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Key Takeaway

  • Elon Musk threatens to ban Apple devices from Tesla, SpaceX, and X if Apple integrates OpenAI at the OS level, citing security concerns.
  • Apple's AI strategy includes integrating OpenAI's ChatGPT into Siri and using AI for writing summaries across its operating systems.
  • Musk's criticism is rooted in his history with OpenAI; he co-founded it but has since become a vocal critic after stepping down from its board in 2018.

Musk's Concerns Over Apple-OpenAI Partnership

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, has expressed significant concerns over Apple's recent partnership with OpenAI. In a series of posts on his social media platform X, Musk criticized the collaboration, calling it "an unacceptable security violation." He questioned Apple's ability to ensure user security and privacy, stating, "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's comments came after Apple announced an update to its voice assistant Siri, which will now integrate OpenAI's ChatGPT chatbot. Apple assured users that they would be asked for permission to share their questions with ChatGPT and that their requests and information would not be logged.

Musk's primary concern revolves around the potential integration of OpenAI at the operating system (OS) level. He warned that if Apple proceeds with this integration, he would ban Apple devices from all his companies, including Tesla, SpaceX, and X. "If Apple integrates OpenAI at the OS level, then Apple devices will be banned at my companies. That is an unacceptable security violation," Musk stated. He further added that visitors to his companies would be required to check their Apple devices at the door.

Apple's AI Integration Strategy

Apple's announcement at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) marked a significant push into artificial intelligence. The company revealed that Siri would be enhanced with ChatGPT-like capabilities, allowing it to handle more complex and conversational queries. While most queries will be managed by Apple's technology, an algorithm will determine if a task should be handed over to OpenAI's technology. This integration aims to make Siri more capable and versatile.

Apple's broader AI strategy includes using OpenAI's technology for AI writing summaries across its operating systems. The company also introduced AI-powered personal intelligence features, known as "Apple Intelligence," which are integrated deeply within the operating systems for iPhones, iPads, and Macs. This marks the first time Apple has publicly revealed its generative AI efforts, bringing these advanced features to its devices.

Musk's History with OpenAI

Musk's criticism of the Apple-OpenAI partnership is not entirely surprising given his history with OpenAI. Musk co-founded OpenAI in 2015 but stepped down from its board in 2018. Since then, he has been a vocal critic of the company and its CEO, Sam Altman. In March, Musk filed a lawsuit against OpenAI and Altman, alleging that they had abandoned the company's founding mission to develop AI "for the benefit of humanity broadly" in favor of pursuing private commercial success.

Musk has also been working on his own AI initiatives. He recently raised $6 billion in a funding round for his AI company, xAI, which aims to develop a politically incorrect alternative to ChatGPT called Grok. In addition to Tesla, SpaceX, and xAI, Musk is also the founder of brain interface startup Neuralink and tunneling venture Boring Company.

Management Quotes

  • Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX:

    "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!"
    "Integrates OpenAI at the OS level."
    "Stop this creepy spyware."