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Musk warns that he will ban Apple devices if OpenAI is integrated at operating system level

FILE PHOTO: Milken Conference 2024 Global Conference Sessions

(Reuters) -Billionaire Elon Musk said on Monday he would ban Apple devices at his companies if the iPhone maker integrates OpenAI at the operating system level.

"That is an unacceptable security violation," Musk, who is the CEO of electric-vehicle maker Tesla and rocket maker SpaceX and owner of social media company X, said in a post on X.

"And visitors will have to check their Apple devices at the door, where they will be stored in a Faraday cage," he said.

Apple and OpenAI did not immediately respond to Reuters requests for comment.

Earlier in the day, Apple announced a slew of AI features across its apps and operating platforms and a partnership with OpenAI to bring the ChatGPT technology to its devices.

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Apple said it had built AI with privacy "at the core" and it would use a combination of on-device processing and cloud computing to power those features.

"It's patently absurd that Apple isn't smart enough to make their own AI, yet is somehow capable of ensuring that OpenAI will protect your security & privacy!" Musk said on X.

It was unlikely that anyone would follow Musk's lead, Ben Bajarin, CEO of consulting firm Creative Strategies, said, adding that Apple was trying to educate people that private cloud was as secure as keeping data on a device.

"What (Apple) is trying to now add to the narrative is when (data) leaves and goes to the secure private cloud, it's similarly taking that same user data anonymization and firewalling of that information to you. Apple really never sees that," he said.

Musk had sued OpenAI, which he co-founded in 2015, and its CEO Sam Altman at the beginning of March, saying they abandoned the startup's original mission to develop AI for the benefit of humanity and not for profit.

He has also founded his own startup, xAI, in a bid to challenge OpenAI and build an alternative to the viral chatbot ChatGPT.

xAI was valued at $24 billion in its last funding round, where it raised $6 billion in series B funding.

(Reporting by Zaheer Kachwala in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Max Cherney in Cupertino; Editing by Shilpi Majumdar)