Elon Musk threatens to ban iPhones in his companies if Apple integrates ChatGPT

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Elon Musk, owner of X, who also runs Tesla and SpaceX, speaks at the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California, in May 2024.


Elon Musk is not happy with the new partnership between Apple and ChatGPT creator OpenAI.

In a post sent to X Monday, the CEO of Tesla (TSLA) said he would ban the use of Apple (AAPL) devices at his companies – which include SpaceX and .

If Apple “integrates OpenAI at the (operating system) level,” Musk said it would constitute an “unacceptable security breach.”

He added that visitors “will need to check their Apple devices at the door, where they will be stored in a Faraday cage,” referring to an enclosure that blocks electromagnetic waves necessary for communications, including cellular, wireless and Bluetooth signals.

“Apple has no idea what actually happens when they hand over your data to OpenAI,” Musk said separate post. “They sell you down the river.”

CNN has reached out to Apple and OpenAI for comment.

Musk’s comments came hours after Apple unveiled a partnership with OpenAI at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference, part of a broader push to bring generative artificial intelligence tools to Apple products.

The new “Apple Intelligence” system will use artificial intelligence to create a smarter Siri voice assistant and provide users with more personalized tools. OpenAI technology will support some of these new tools – for example, allowing users to submit questions to ChatGPT via Apple devices.

Greg Brockman, president of OpenAI, said late Monday evening that ChatGPT will be integrated into Apple’s operating systems for iPhones, iPads and Macs. “We are working with Apple to integrate ChatGPT directly into iOS, iPadOS and macOS. It will be available later this year, we are very excited!” posted on X.

Musk, who co-founded OpenAI in 2015, now runs a rival company called xAI. He has a strained relationship with his former company and its CEO Sam Altman, and is suing them both for allegedly violating OpenAI’s founding agreement and straying from its nonprofit mission.

OpenAI dismissed them in its legal filings claims it is “frivolous,” “unusual” and “fiction,” and has separately suggested that Musk is fundamentally jealous that he is no longer associated with the company due to its success.

Given his history of broken promises and wild threats, it remains to be seen whether Musk will follow through with the ban on Apple devices and maybe even extend it to other brands.

For example, Alphabet (GOOGL) Google and Samsung have already integrated new AI features into Android devices. Microsoft, OpenAI’s largest investor, announced three weeks ago that it would integrate AI features directly into Windows.

Therefore, Musk’s employees may have limited options if he wants to ban competitive AI – or even OpenAI – from their companies. But Microsoft, facing backlash over privacy concerns, said Friday it would disable some artificial intelligence features by default.

“Apple’s approach to AI is actually more privacy-conscious than others, with the goal of processing as much data as possible on a device, and in the fallback solution, it explicitly queries users before sending information to OpenAI,” said Catherine Flick, professor of ethics and technology games at the University of Staffordshire in England.

“It remains to be seen how this workflow will be used in practice, but I think it’s just sour grapes on Musk’s part as he runs a competing artificial intelligence company that didn’t get a lucrative contract with Apple.”

OpenAI has become one of the leading companies in the development of generative artificial intelligence. Meanwhile, Apple lags behind competitors including Google and Microsoft (MSFT), which have been quicker to formulate an artificial intelligence strategy.

Apple’s collaboration with OpenAI could help the iPhone maker fill this gap and accelerate the transition to a technology with enormous potential.

“This is a pivotal moment for Apple, which has struggled to innovate lately,” Matt Britzman, an equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, wrote in a note Tuesday. “Integrating a third-party tool like ChatGPT finally revitalizes things while leaving room to develop internal models over the next few years at a much lower cost than the first solutions.”