Apple wary of ChatGPT, but not fair in its treatment

Apple seems to be wary of artificial intelligences. On Thursday, March 2, the Wall Street Journal reported that the company banned an App Store update to email app BlueMail that incorporated ChatGPT. A contradictory policy change, according to its co-founder.

The Apple App Store has refused the update of the BlueMail application integrating ChatGPT. // Source: Apple

The news came a week after the company sent its update to the App Store. In a message to the developers of email app BlueMail, Apple’s app store review board refuses to validate their new update. In question: the addition of artificial intelligence ChatGPT in the application to automatically write his emails.

The cause of Apple’s ire is spelled out clearly in this message: Your app includes AI-generated content but doesn’t appear to include content filtering at this time โ€œ, quotes the economic daily Wall Street Journal,who reports the case on Thursday, March 2.

Apple is wary of ChatGPT

The functionality added to the app for iPhone, iPad and Mac does not seem problematic at first glance. Concretely, BlueMail offers its users to take advantage of the text generation capabilities of ChatGPT (an artificial intelligence created by OpenAI and popular for its ability to imitate human writing) in order to automatically write e-mails based on their contacts and calendar appointments.

Check out BlueMail GEM AI in action as it generates an email addressing Apple’s unfair conduct. Apple persists in blocking the @bluemail update, and this has led to frustration among consumers who are unable to enjoy it fully.

โ€” Ben Volach ๐Ÿ’Ž (@benvol) March 2, 2023

However, for the App Store moderation team, the use of the OpenAI service involves a risk: voluntarily or involuntarily producing content that would not be appropriate for all ages, whereas BlueMail is classified as suitable from 4 years on Apple’s app store. A decision probably linked to the excesses of ChatGPT integrated into Microsoft’s Bing search engine.

The company has therefore blocked the update and is asking the developers to change the age category of the email client to 17+.

Two weights, two measures

If the solution seems simple, this small change would have big consequences for BlueMail. Beyond reducing the app’s chances of being discovered in the App Store, this “17 and overis generally reserved for services containing slurs, sex, or drug-related language.

This solution is therefore refused by the co-founder of BlueMail, Ben Volach, who points out the contradictions of Apple: in a publication on the social network Twitter, he affirms that other App Store apps use AI-generated text without this restriction : โ€œIf Apple has a new AI policy, it should be made public and applied to all app developers equally.“.

If Apple has a new policy regarding AI, it should be made public and applied to all app developers equally as Tim Cook tested in the congressional hearing.

Apple must not prevent any disruption in BlueMail’s functionality and the launch of our innovative AI service.

โ€” Ben Volach ๐Ÿ’Ž (@benvol) March 2, 2023

A complaint investigated by Apple

contacted bywall street journalApple says developers can appeal the decision and that its App Review Board is considering BlueMail’s complaint.

If BlueMail has already tried in 2019 to question Apple’s decisions with the American justice system, Ben Volach explains daily that he is not against complying with Apple’s requests… condition : “We want fairness [โ€ฆ]. If we are to be categorized as 17+, then the others must be as well.ยป

To know now what will be the final decision of Apple: will it decide in favor of BlueMail, or will it apply a stricter policy towards all applications using conversational AI? This small episode opens in any case an interesting chapter in the way Apple will behave towards this type of technology within its AppStore.

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