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iOS 18 OpenAI features to be ‘opt-in’ with Apple wary of backlash


Apple users will not be forced to use OpenAI’s services in iOS 18, with a well-connected Apple reporter claiming the integration will be opt-in.

The company is expected to announce a partnership with the ChatGPT maker at WWDC on June 10. There, it’s expected to be confirmed that OpenAI will power some of the iPhone’s first steps into the generative AI era.

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However, with large scale scepticism about the technology and the company that has thrust it in the mainstream, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman is reporting Apple is conscious of scaring off loyal users who’ve placed their trust in Apple software.

According to the report, the scepticism also exists within Apple, with some executives concerned about a “rogue chatbot” damaging the company’s reputation. Gurman also reports some Apple employees have a “philosophical aversion” to having a third-party chatbot integrated within iOS.

It also understands that many customers will have the same aversions and is making the service opt-in, today’s report says.

Gurman writes: “Depending on how deeply Apple plans to integrate the chatbot with its software, it also could mean that OpenAI has access to personal information, which could unnerve some users. But Apple is expected to offer its new AI features as an opt-in service, according to the people familiar with the matter. So wary customers could easily steer clear of them if they’d prefer.”

As such Apple believes giving users the option to opt-in to the features will insulate it from potential fall out, including privacy concerns.

And, in the end, the report says, Apple decided to proceed with the deal because it didn’t want to be seen as being left behind by rivals diving head first into AI. The report says Apple has decided to make the deal with the controversial company because its users would expect cutting edge features from a new iPhone.

In an ideal world, Apple would have its own large language models and a vastly upgraded version of Siri for this expansion. However, it’s not thought to be ready yet. Whether Apple is making the right decision by reportedly pressing ahead in an alliance that could undermine its repuation on multiple fronts remains to be seen.

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