Global tech giant Apple doesn’t seem as keen as the rest of the tech industry on the recent generative AI boom. You aren’t alone if you think every second company is jumping on board, following OpenAI’s release of ChatGPT, built on its proprietary GPT-3 (Generative Pre-trained Transformer 3) language model. They’re either integrating it into what they already offer or they’re coming up with new products and services based on the core AI capabilities.
Apple has never been one to follow the crowd when it comes to trends like this. If it does eventually plan to use generative AI in some way, it’ll be at its own pace and it will probably handle everything in-house. But it certainly isn’t in a rush. In fact, it might be trying to slow the AI race down.
Apple’s playing it cool in the AI boom
According to a Wall Street Journal report, the fruit company is taking a measured stance on apps using forms of generative AI. When Blix Inc submitted the latest iOS update of its BlueMail app for revision, Apple deemed it necessary to attach an age rating of 17+ to the app in its App Store. That’s because the update added a feature to allow users to generate text for their emails and messages in BlueMail using ChatGPT. Apple found that to be “concerning”.
Specifically, Apple is concerned with the lack of proper content filtering in the app’s ChatGPT implementation. According to Blix co-founder Ben Volach, Apple believes the new feature has the potential to produce inappropriate content. Hence the age rating.
If reports of Microsoft’s new ChatGPT-powered Bing search are anything to go by (usually accompanied by words like ‘deranged’ and ‘unhinged’), we’d tend to agree with Apple on this one. Volach obviously isn’t jumping for joy. He reckons the age limit will unjustly limit his app’s reach and unfairly damage his company’s business as a result.
While that may be true to some extent, we think it’s good to finally see a tech company taking Jeff Goldblum’s sage advice, asking whether or not they should before asking whether or not they could. But that could just be us projecting want we want the company’s motivations to be. Apple’s intentions become murky if you zoom out a little.
Regulations and equity would be nice
Lensa, from Prism Labs, is another app that uses generative AI. It made a big splash last year and earned its creators (and Apple) a lot of money very quickly. This one is powered by the AI image-generating tool Stable Diffusion which turns user photos or selfies into digital art portraits.
It’s currently available on the App Store with a 4+ rating, despite the fact that Getty Images is suing Stable Diffusion’s creators for using copyrighted images to train their AI model without permission or compensation. Despite it being able to ‘accidentally’ produce nude pictures of its users, without an inappropriate image prompt.
There’ll always be speculation regarding anything Apple does, given how tightlipped it usually is outside of official announcements. Still, we have to question why a mailing app that could generate inappropriate content is given a 17+ rating while an app known to have done so is only rated 4+.
Source: Fast Company