Report: Apple does not pay OpenAI for ChatGPT integration into operating systems

OpenAI/Apple/Benj Edwards

On Monday, Apple announced that it would integrate OpenAI’s ChatGPT artificial intelligence assistant into upcoming versions of its iPhone, iPad, and Mac operating systems. It paves the way for future integrations of third-party AI models, but given Google’s multibillion-dollar deal with Apple to preferential web search, OpenAI’s announcement inspired speculation about who pays whom. According to a Bloomberg report published on Wednesday, Apple considers putting ChatGPT on its devices sufficient compensation.

“Apple is not paying OpenAI as part of the partnership,” writes Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman, citing people familiar with the matter who wish to remain anonymous. “Instead, Apple believes that bringing the OpenAI brand and technology to hundreds of millions of its devices has value equal to or greater than monetary payments.”

The Bloomberg report claims that neither company expects the deal to generate significant revenue anytime soon, and in fact, the partnership could burn extra money for OpenAI, because it pays Microsoft to host ChatGPT capabilities on its Azure cloud. . However, OpenAI could benefit by converting free users to paid subscriptions, and Apple potentially benefits by providing easy, integrated access to ChatGPT during a time when its own internal LLMs are still catching up.

And there’s another angle at play. OpenAI currently offers subscriptions (ChatGPT Plus, Enterprise, Team) that unlock additional features. If users subscribe to OpenAI through the ChatGPT app on an Apple device, the process will use Apple’s payment platform, which can give Apple a significant share of the revenue. According to the report, Apple hopes to negotiate additional revenue-sharing deals with AI vendors in the future.

Why open AI

ChatGPT’s rise in the public eye over the past 18 months has made OpenAI a powerful player in the tech industry, allowing it to strike deals with publishers for AI training content and secure continued support from Microsoft in the form of investments that market vital elements. funding and computing to access OpenAI’s large language model (LLM) technology, such as GPT-4.

Still, Apple’s choice of ChatGPT as Apple’s first external AI integration has led to widespread misunderstanding, especially since Apple buried track of its own internal LLM technology that powers its new “Apple Intelligence” platform.

For Apple’s part, CEO Tim Cook told The Washington Post that he chose OpenAI as his first external AI partner because he believes the company controls the leading LLM technology right now: “I think they are pioneers in the area and today they have the best model,” he said. “We are also integrating with other people. But they are the first, and I think today it is because they are the best.”

Choosing Apple also carries risks. OpenAI’s track record is not impeccable, racking up a series of public controversies over the past month that include an accusation from actress Scarlett Johansson that the company intentionally imitated her voice, resignations from a key scientist and security staff, the revelation of a restrictive confidentiality agreement for former employees that prevented public criticism, and accusations against OpenAI CEO Sam Altman of “psychological abuse” recounted by a former OpenAI board member.

Meanwhile, critics of privacy issues related to collecting data to train AI models, including OpenAI foe Elon Musk, who took to X on Monday to spread misconceptions about how the ChatGPT integration could work, also They fear that the Apple-OpenAI deal could expose personal data. to the AI ​​company, although both companies strongly deny that this is the case.

Looking ahead, Apple’s deal with OpenAI is not exclusive and the company is already in talks to offer Google’s Gemini chatbot as an additional option later this year. Apple has also reportedly held talks with Anthropic (maker of the Claude 3) as a potential chatbot partner, signaling its intention to provide users with a range of AI services, much like the company offers various search engine options in Safari.

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