By Hanna Ziady, CNN

London (CNN) — Elon Musk is not happy about a new partnership between Apple and ChatGPT creator OpenAI.

In a post to X Monday, the Tesla (TSLA) chief executive said he would ban Apple (AAPL) devices at his companies — which include SpaceX and X, among others — if the iPhone maker went ahead with its AI plans announced Monday.

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

He added that visitors “will have 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 crucial to communications, including cellular, wireless internet and Bluetooth signals.

“Apple has no clue what’s actually going on once they hand your data over to OpenAI,” Musk said in a separate post. “They’re selling you down the river.”

CNN has contacted Apple and OpenAI for comment.

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

Under a new “Apple Intelligence” system, AI will be used to produce a smarter Siri voice assistant and deliver more personalized tools to users. OpenAI’s technology will support some of these new tools — for example, allowing users to direct questions to ChatGPT via their Apple devices.

Greg Brockman, OpenAI president, said late Monday that ChatGPT would be integrated into Apple’s operating systems for iPhones, iPads and Mac computers. “We’re partnering with Apple to integrate ChatGPT right into iOS, iPadOS, and macOS. Will be available later this year, very excited!” he posted on X.

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

OpenAI has in legal filings dismissed these claims as “frivolous,” “extraordinary” and “a fiction” and has separately suggested Musk is essentially jealous that he is no longer involved with the company, given its success.

Given his track record of broken promises and wild threats, it remains to be seen whether Musk will follow through with a ban on Apple devices or perhaps even widen it to include other brands.

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

So Musk’s employees may have limited options if he wants to ban rival AI — or even OpenAI — from his companies. But Microsoft, facing a backlash over privacy concerns, said Friday that it would turn off some AI features by default.

“Apple’s AI approach is actually more privacy conscious than others, with its aim to process as much on the device as possible and with a fallback that explicitly asks users before sending information to OpenAI,” said Catherine Flick, professor of ethics and games technology at Staffordshire University in England.

“It remains to be seen how that workflow ends up being used in practice, but this just feels like sour grapes from Musk who runs a competing AI company that was not given the lucrative Apple contract.”

OpenAI has become one of the companies leading the development of generative AI. Apple, meanwhile, has lagged behind competitors, including Google and Microsoft (MSFT), which have moved more quickly to articulate an AI strategy.

Apple’s partnership with OpenAI could help the iPhone maker close that gap and accelerate its move into a technology that holds enormous potential.

“This is a key moment for Apple, which has struggled with innovation of late,” Matt Britzman, an equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, wrote in a note Tuesday. “Integrating a third-party tool like ChatGPT finally gets things moving, while leaving space to develop internal models over the next few years at much lower costs than the first movers.”

The-CNN-Wire
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