Apple and OpenAI currently have the most misunderstood partnership in tech

A man talks into a smartphone.

Enlarge / He isn’t using an iPhone, but some people talk to Siri like this.

Apple Intelligence” during a wide-ranging presentation at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference in Cupertino, California. However, the heart of its new tech, an array of Apple-developed AI models, was overshadowed by the announcement of ChatGPT integration into its device operating systems.

Since rumors of the partnership first emerged, we’ve seen confusion on social media about why Apple didn’t develop a cutting-edge GPT-4-like chatbot internally. Despite Apple’s year-long development of its own large language models (LLMs), many perceived the integration of ChatGPT (and opening the door for others, like Google Gemini) as a sign of Apple’s lack of innovation.

“This is really strange. Surely Apple could train a very good competing LLM if they wanted? They’ve had a year,” wrote AI developer Benjamin De Kraker on X. Elon Musk has also been grumbling about the OpenAI deal—and spreading misconceptions about it—saying things like, “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!”

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