Elon Musk Threatens to Seize iPhones and Store Them in a Faraday Cage at His Companies

Hell in a Cell

Apple is finally making big moves in the generative AI space— and Elon Musk isn't happy.

On Monday, the tech giant unveiled its new but arguably derivative AI system called "Apple Intelligence" for iPhones, Macs, and other devices in the company's ecosystem. But it also turned heads with another splashy announcement: a partnership with OpenAI to integrate ChatGPT into its operating system.

And it was this that Musk took particular issue with. His response, which he shared on X, was to excoriate the new big tech teamup — and to threaten prohibiting any and all forms of Apple hardware from the workplace at his various companies.

"If Apple integrates OpenAI at the OS level, then Apple devices will be banned at my companies," Musk raged. "That is an unacceptable security violation."

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

Poisoned Apple

An incensed Musk also took his complaints directly to the top. In a reply to Apple CEO Tim Cook's announcement tweet, he reiterated his threat to ban the company's tech, and demanded Apple to "stop this creepy spyware."

"Apple using the words 'protect your privacy' while handing your data over to a third-party AI that they don't understand and can't themselves create is *not* protecting privacy at all!" he wrote elsewhere on the platform.

And in yet another tweet, Musk complained that "Apple isn't smart enough to make their own AI" — except it just did, and he's seemingly conflating the OpenAI partnership announcement with the Apple Intelligence one — "yet is somehow capable of ensuring that OpenAI will protect your security & privacy!"

Kettle Black

Let's be clear: big tech companies deserve all the crap they can get over their horrendous privacy track records.

But this is rich coming from Musk, whose own chatbot, Grok, is allegedly trained with less-than-scrupulously sourced data: per an update to X's policy, everyone's public tweets are fair game for being ingested by the AI model.

Even more egregiously, under Musk's stewardship, X has also reportedly continued its practice of selling user data to surveillance firms that are contracted by the US government.

You're probably getting the sense that Musk isn't just (ostensibly) upset about privacy concerns here. And you'd be right: he has a longstanding grudge against OpenAI, a company he cofounded in 2015 but left just three years later after disagreements over its direction.

Musk has consistently been critical about OpenAI's bald-faced pivot to money-making after starting as a nonprofit. In March, he sued the startup on those grounds, and has continued to raise billions of dollars for his rival firm xAI.

It must be all the more infuriating, then, to see his colleagues-turned-rivals court not just Microsoft, but now Apple. And may they all keep beefing.

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