Musk says he'll ban all Apple devices if OpenAI is integrated at the OS level — claims it would represent a massive security risk

Elon Musk talking to another person with guard in the background
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Apple recently introduced Apple Intelligence, its interpretation of on-device AI, at WWDC 2024. Its artificial intelligence features are designed to primarily run on-device, but any task that requires more horsepower will be passed on to Apple’s Private Cloud Compute. However, Tesla boss Elon Musk has been riled by the option to integrate ChatGPT into Apple’s AI services — initially with Siri.

Musk said, “If Apple integrates OpenAI at the OS level, then Apple devices will be banned at my companies. That is an unacceptable security violation.” He then expanded his Twitter/X thread by asserting “Visitors will have to check their Apple devices at the door, where they will be stored in a Faraday cage.”

As always, Apple is late to hop on a hot tech trend. But it tends to go all-in when it moves, and its Apple Intelligence has several attractive key features, especially its emphasis on privacy. However, OpenAI's ChatGPT model has the advantage over Apple, especially since the game-changing ChatGPT-3.5 launched back in 2022. This 18-month difference has given OpenAI the advantage and even Apple admits that.

Craig Federighi admitted this much during the Apple Intelligence segment, “Still, there are other artificial intelligence tools available that can be useful for tasks that draw on broad world knowledge or offer specialized domain expertise. We want you to be able to use these external models without having to jump between different tools, so we’re integrating them right into your experiences — and we’re starting out with the best of these; the pioneer and market leader ChatGPT from OpenAI, powered by CharGPT-4o.”

So, if you use Siri’s AI and it feels that ChatGPT can generate better ideas, it will talk to OpenAI’s service. Nevertheless, this is an opt-in feature, meaning your iPhone will confirm with you first if you want to share your data, including text and photos. OpenAI and Apple say that users’ IP addresses are obscured when ChatGPT receives requests, and that the former won’t store these.

Despite assurances, Elon Musk still has his reservations. He claims that “Apple has no clue what’s actually going on once they hand your data over to OpenAI. They’re selling you down the river.” Earlier this year, Musk sued OpenAI for its alleged breach of its founding agreement. However, the company’s leadership suggested that this move was because of “Elon’s regrets about not being involved with the company today.”

Elon Musk’s concerns are technically moot, especially as Apple and OpenAI are, at least on paper, putting user privacy in the forefront. But we cannot turn a blind eye towards some of the issues that OpenAI and ChatGPT have stumbled into. For example, Samsung inadvertently leaked confidential data in 2023 after its workers used ChatGPT at work. We also cannot discount malware and weak username/password combinations that could compromise iPhones integrated with user ChatGPT accounts.

Musk’s main issue is the integration of ChatGPT itself with Siri. However, this Siri-ChatGPT connection is likely to run through an API and would not have access to your iPhone’s data, except the information that you explicitly send it. Still, Elon Musk (and several other users) have trust issues regarding artificial intelligence in general. For some, the opt-in feature is good enough to ensure that Apple will not send your data to ChatGPT. But for Elon Musk, he’d rather not have it at all.

Freelance News Writer
  • USAFRet
    Complaining about Windows 11.
    Complaining about Apple.

    How much "AI" will he infuse in his cars?


    Users data in cars is a ship already sailed. They gather LOTS, and distribute as they see fit.
    This has been a thing for a decade.
    Reply
  • evdjj3j
    He should really quit trying with that boy beard.
    Reply
  • USAFRet
    Last year:
    "Tesla Self-Driving Tech Powered by Nvidia AI Chips"

    https://www.iotworldtoday.com/transportation-logistics/tesla-self-driving-tech-powered-by-nvidia-ai-chips
    Reply
  • helper800
    USAFRet said:
    Last year:
    "Tesla Self-Driving Tech Powered by Nvidia AI Chips"

    https://www.iotworldtoday.com/transportation-logistics/tesla-self-driving-tech-powered-by-nvidia-ai-chips
    We do know that hardware that can power AI is different than AI itself right?
    Reply
  • USAFRet
    helper800 said:
    We do know that hardware that can power AI is different than AI itself right?
    "The new cluster will be used to accelerate the company’s training efforts as Tesla’s AI supercomputer project, Dojo, slowly comes online. "
    Reply
  • helper800
    USAFRet said:
    "The new cluster will be used to accelerate the company’s training efforts as Tesla’s AI supercomputer project, Dojo, slowly comes online. "
    I understand, however, you originally said:
    USAFRet said:
    How much "AI" will he infuse in his cars?
    After AI is trained it's just a program with a specific purpose like any other. The purpose of the AI for his cars is to navigate the road and better itself at doing so by sending data about its experience back for iterative improvement. Your pointing out of Elon using AI to power his car's self driving capabilities would be ironic if the comparison in how they were using AI were similar, but they are not. There is also the differentiation I was trying to make above. When we are talking about 'how much AI' a product has, are we talking about how the AI software is implemented and its encroachment on the useability of the product, or are we talking about how much physical AI driving hardware it has to run said AI?
    Reply
  • kyzarvs
    I mean, it would sound honest if it wasn't coming from someone who farms a huge amount of data from users of their products and was in the process of ramping up their own AI system...
    Reply
  • USAFRet
    helper800 said:
    I understand, however, you originally said:

    After AI is trained it's just a program with a specific purpose like any other. The purpose of the AI for his cars is to navigate the road and better itself at doing so by sending data about its experience back for iterative improvement. Your pointing out of Elon using AI to power his car's self driving capabilities would be ironic if the comparison in how they were using AI were similar, but they are not. There is also the differentiation I was trying to make above. When we are talking about 'how much AI' a product has, are we talking about how the AI software is implemented and its encroachment on the useability of the product, or are we talking about how much physical AI driving hardware it has to run said AI?
    I was just making an observation about him bitching about everyone else's AI and procedures.

    "Waaa....Windows 11 makes you create a MS account"
    (need a Tesla account to drive your car)

    "Waaa...Apples AI will suck up too much user data"
    (Tesla AI will be different?)
    Reply
  • ThomasKinsley
    I'm admittedly not up to speed on this subject. I know Musk has various issues with OpenAI already; however, I'm confused at how Apple's arrangement with OpenAI differs from Microsoft's. Isn't Microsoft integrating OpenAI's ChatGPT at the OS level as well?
    Reply
  • PEnns
    ThomasKinsley said:
    I'm admittedly not up to speed on this subject. I know Musk has various issues with OpenAI already; however, I'm confused at how Apple's arrangement with OpenAI differs from Microsoft's. Isn't Microsoft integrating OpenAI's ChatGPT at the OS level as well?
    Because Musk is selectively outraged on the same issue.

    The previously smart guy has become a sleepy carnival barker at best.
    Reply