Elon Musk threatens Apple device ban over OpenAI partnership

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Elon Musk

NEW YORK, June 11: Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, stirred controversy on Monday as he threatened to ban Apple devices from his companies following Apple’s announcement of a partnership with OpenAI.

In a series of candid posts on his social media platform X, Musk expressed concerns about the potential privacy implications of the collaboration between Apple and OpenAI. He labeled the integration of software between the two tech giants as “an unacceptable security violation” and criticized Apple for what he perceived as a lack of understanding of the situation.

The announcement from Apple marked its long-awaited foray into artificial intelligence, with updates to its voice assistant Siri that would incorporate OpenAI’s popular ChatGPT chatbot. Apple assured users that their privacy would be protected, stating that permission would be sought before sharing any information with ChatGPT.

However, Musk remained unconvinced, questioning Apple’s ability to safeguard user security while partnering with OpenAI. He specifically warned of banning Apple devices if the integration extended to Apple’s operating system at a fundamental level.

Responding to a post from Apple CEO Tim Cook, Musk doubled down on his stance, threatening to enforce a ban on Apple devices within his companies’ premises unless Cook addressed his concerns regarding what he called “creepy spyware.” He further announced plans to implement device checks at the door for visitors to his companies.

Tesla, Musk’s flagship company, has faced its share of challenges recently, including layoffs exceeding 10% of its workforce. Musk’s involvement in OpenAI, which he co-founded in 2015 but distanced himself from in 2018, has been marked by tensions, with Musk accusing the company and its CEO, Sam Altman, of straying from their original mission.

In a bold move, Musk raised $6 billion for xAI, his potential competitor to OpenAI. xAI’s flagship product, Grok, is positioned as a counterpoint to ChatGPT, offering what Musk describes as a “politically incorrect” alternative.

Neither Musk nor OpenAI immediately responded to CNBC’s requests for comment, leaving the future of the contentious partnership between Apple and OpenAI in question.

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