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Elon Musk threatens Apple device ban over OpenAI partnership

Tech entrepreneur Elon Musk ignited controversy on Monday by threatening to ban Apple devices from his companies, Tesla, SpaceX, and X, if Apple integrates OpenAI’s technology directly into its operating system.

“This is an unacceptable security violation,” Musk stated on his social media platform, X. He proposed storing visitor Apple devices in Faraday cages, enclosures that block electromagnetic signals. “And visitors will have to check their Apple devices at the door, where they will be stored in a Faraday cage.”

This outburst follows Apple’s announcement of a partnership with OpenAI to incorporate its ChatGPT technology into Apple devices.

Apple had during the announcement emphasised its commitment to user privacy, highlighting a focus on both on-device processing and secure cloud computing for its AI features.

Also read: Nvidia overtakes Apple to become world’s second most valuable company

Musk, however, expressed skepticism. “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,” he stated.

Also read: From Grok-1 to Grok-1.5V: Elon Musk xAI’s rapid progress fuels investor confidence, secures $6 billion fund

This move by Apple comes amid a personal feud between Musk and OpenAI. Musk co-founded OpenAI in 2015 but later sued the company and its CEO, Sam Altman, alleging a shift away from its original goal of developing AI for the greater good.

Musk has since launched his own AI venture, xAI, seen as a direct competitor to OpenAI’s ChatGPT.

Also read: “Unchecked AI could lead to human extinction,” OpenAI and Google DeepMind employees warn

Industry analysts believe a company-wide Apple device ban is unlikely.

Ben Bajarin, CEO of Creative Strategies, suggests Musk is misinformed. Apple, he says, is striving to educate users that secure private cloud storage offers similar protection to on-device data.

Samuel Bolaji

Samuel Bolaji holds a Master of Letters in Publishing Studies from the University of Stirling, Scotland, United Kingdom, and a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Lagos, Nigeria. He is an experienced researcher, multimedia journalist, writer, and Editor. He is currently the Editor of Arbiterz.

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