Elon Musk threatens to ban the use of Apple devices in his companies in connection with the OpenAI – NBC Boston partnership

  • Tesla CEO Elon Musk on Monday threatened to ban the use of Apple devices at his companies.
  • Apple announced its partnership with OpenAI at its annual developer conference, with Musk calling the partnership an “unacceptable security breach.”
  • Apple said its Siri voice assistant will be able to connect to OpenAI’s ChatGPT generative chatbot. Users will be asked for permission and their requests and information will not be logged.

Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, threatened to ban the use of Apple devices at his companies on Monday after the iPhone maker announced a partnership with OpenAI.

In a series of posts on his social media platform X, Musk shared concerns about whether Apple and OpenAI will protect user information.

He called software integration between the two companies an “unacceptable security breach” and said Apple “has no idea what’s actually going on.”

On Monday, Apple announced its long-awaited introduction to artificial intelligence, which included an update to its Siri voice assistant. As part of the update, Siri can connect to OpenAI’s popular ChatGPT chatbot. Apple says users will be asked for permission to share their questions with ChatGPT, and their requests and information will not be logged.

“It’s patently absurd that Apple isn’t smart enough to create its own AI, yet is somehow able to ensure that OpenAI will protect your security and privacy!” Musk wrote after the event.

He specifically said that Apple devices would be banned if the company “integrates OpenAI at the operating system level,” referring to Apple’s operating system.

Apple told CNBC that the company uses its own artificial intelligence and its integration with OpenAI is an optional feature.

Musk responded directly to Apple CEO Tim Cook’s post and said he would ban Apple devices from his company premises unless Cook decides to “stop this terrifying spyware.” He added that guests at his company will be asked to check their Apple devices at the door.

Tesla, Musk’s largest company, had 140,473 employees worldwide as of December 31. This year, the company has laid off more than 10% of its employment.

Musk co-founded OpenAI in 2015 and stepped down from its board in 2018. Most recently, he has been a vocal critic of the company and CEO Sam Altman. In March, Musk sued OpenAI and Altman, among others, claiming they had abandoned the company’s founding mission to advance artificial intelligence “for the broad good of humanity.”

Musk raised $6 billion in the latest round of funding for his potential OpenAI competitor, xAI, whose first product, Grok, is intended to serve as a politically incorrect answer to ChatGPT. In addition to Tesla, SpaceX and xAI, Musk is the founder of brain interface startup Neuralink and tunneling venture Boring Company.

Musk and OpenAI did not immediately respond to CNBC’s requests for comment.

— CNBC’s Steve Kovach and Lora Kolodny contributed to this report.

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