Why Elon Musk is threatening to ban Apple devices

Explained: why Elon Musk is threatening to ban Apple devices

Elon Musk is critical of some of the ethics and practices surrounding artificial intelligence (file)

New Delhi:

Tesla CEO Elon Musk on Tuesday threatened to ban the use of Apple devices at his companies after the US tech giant announced a partnership with OpenAI. This means that employees of X, Tesla, SpaceX and xAI could soon be banned from using iPhones, iPads and Macs in their workplaces.

What Elon Musk said

In a post on X, the xAI founder wrote: “If Apple integrates OpenAI at the OS level, Apple devices will be banned from my companies. This is an unacceptable security breach.”

Musk also mentioned that visitors will have to hand over their Apple devices at the door, where they will be stored in a Faraday cage.

A Faraday cage is an enclosure that blocks all digital signals, including cellular signals, preventing data transmission.

Talking about Apple’s deeper integration, Musk wrote: “It’s patently absurd that Apple isn’t smart enough to create its own AI and yet is able to ensure that OpenAI will protect your security and privacy!”

What Apple said

In response, Apple clarified that it uses its own artificial intelligence and that OpenAI integration is optional, which assures users that their data will not be logged.

While Musk isn’t happy with ChatGPT’s deeper integration into Apple devices, the company says Siri and other GPT4o-based apps on iOS 18, iPadOS 18 and macOS Sequoia will ask for permission every time to share data and allow access to ChatGPT without creating account.

It further stated that paid ChatGPT users can link their accounts to access premium features, which will be available on select iPhones, iPads and Macs later this year, with support for other AI models coming in the future.

The Grok Factor

Grok, Mr. Musk’s artificial intelligence company, is developing advanced artificial intelligence technologies, including language processing models similar to ChatGPT.

xAI enhances its chatbot by integrating multimodal inputs, allowing users to upload images and receive text responses.

Launched in November 2023, Grok is available to X Premium Plus subscribers.

The last update, Grok 1.5, was in March and included improved inference capabilities. The model is trained on a variety of text data from publicly available online sources until Q3 2023 and on selected peer-reviewed datasets.

According to X’s blog post, Grok-1 has not been trained on X’s data (including X’s public posts), but has “real-time knowledge of the world” including X’s posts.

Elon Musk on “woke” OpenAI

However, Musk is critical of some AI ethics and practices, often advocating for more transparent and diligent development of AI. He recently described ChatGPT as “woke,” suggesting that it embodies a certain social consciousness or political correctness that he disagrees with.

He said they trained their language models to be overly cautious about what they said after they introduced rules on ChatGPT to prevent potentially offensive text from being generated.

So when his chatbot Grok entered the scene, comparisons were natural. User X compared GrokAI to ChatGPT, claiming that both were equally “woke.”

Musk admitted that GrokAI’s training data came from the Internet and was influenced by “woke” content. However, he assured users that GrokAI will improve over time.

“Unfortunately, the Internet (where it is taught) is filled with nonsense about woke devices. Grok will recover. This is just a beta version,” Musk wrote at the time.